Summer Sun, Summer Employment

ssss

Ugh. This is almost as bad as my search for a part-time job back in the day. I opted to continue to get paid through the summer, so it’s not that I am not going to be able to pay my bills; however, that’s three months I could have a significant secondary source of income. I would be idiotic to not take advantage of it. If anything, it’s been harder to find a summer job. There aren’t a lot of opportunities available for only the summer, or that you can apply for now that will start in late May/early June. PLUS, many of them are solely either for teenagers or for current college students.

My best bets so far have been summer camps and summer school. I’ve applied to teach summer school and for several camps, but so far I’ve only had a phone interview for a nonprofit international camp in New York…which I haven’t heard anything back for so I’m not hopeful. I do have an interview on Monday that seems like it’ll pan out, so wish me luck! It’s with a summer camp that is a little further away than I wanted, but it’s still employment! Plus it’s in the same area that Favorite’s family lives, so maybe I’ll get to hang out a little more with him and do fun summer stuff.

The plan for this potential additional income is to use it solely for debt repayment and my emergency fund.

Some of my accounts are behind (one in particular VERY behind), so the goal for the summer is to completely pay off debts that are not attached to a card/tuition and to catch up all of my delinquent accounts. I would also like to have a month’s income put back in my EF by the end of the summer. I really would love to buy a “new” car by the beginning of 2016; however, in order to do that I need better credit, a better credit history, and money put back. Once I have money for emergencies and a higher credit score (for lower interest), I can concentrate on putting cash back for that purchase. My car is not doing well right now, so if I need to replace it ahead of schedule, I would be able to use my emergency fund for that.

Anyway. I’m planning with money not in hand, and I can’t predict the future, so the best I can do at this point is apply for summer positions as they come and hope it works out for the best!

Wish me luck 🙂 

Weight for it, Weight for it, Strength Training Plan

spongebob

And that’s the plan!

Wait. Just kidding! But in seriousness. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a workout routine that seemed…reasonable? And I joined a gym for this month in order to try out machines, but it seemed ridiculous to wander around pulling at cords and handles and pushing buttons. Surprisingly enough, I found what looks to be a good workout at Simply Shredded. I don’t buy a lot of what they’re trying to sell in terms of the science of it…being a biochemistry major for three and a half years has ruined me for most of the fitness world’s claims; however, I do think the literal workouts seem pretty solid. So here’s what I’ll be working with:

Weeks 1-4 (All 3 x 8-12) Weeks 5-8 (All 3 x 6-8) Weeks 9-12 (All 3 x 4-6)

Day One – Upper Body A

  • Bench Press
  • Bent Over Row
  • DB Shoulder Press
  • Lying Tricep Extension
  • Barbell or DB Curl

Day Two – Lower Body A

  • Squat
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl
  • Standing Calf Raise
  • Abs:
    Lying Leg Raise 3 x 10-15
    Swiss Ball Crunch 3 x 10-15

Day Three – Off Day

Day Four – Upper Body B

  • Dips
  • Pull-Ups
  • DB Side Lateral
  • Tricep Cable Pressdown
  • Cable Curl

Day Five – Lower Body B

  • Deadlift
  • Leg Press
  • Lunges
  • Seated Calf Raise
  • DB Shrugs (Optional)
  • Abs:
    Incline Crunch 3 x 10-15
    Back Extension 3 x 10-15

Day Six – Off Day

Day Seven – Off Day

I’m pretty behind on my terminology, so I’ve been hunting up all of these and illustrating them, so as I do them I’ll post some adorable stick figure doing said exercises and let y’all know how it goes and what I think about turning all my limbs into limp noodles. Guess the reality of being in my…late twenties is starting to hit me…so trying to get fit and get strong it is! Plus it doesn’t hurt that bathing suit season is so soon, no?

Wish me luck!

How is Christmas this close? Whose idea was it?

As of right now I’m trying to figure out what to do for tuition and Christmas, and getting rejected from the position I applied for at Macy’s ( 😦 ) and not hearing back from Sephora ( 😦 ). I’m trying to use my connections at other stores (#nepotism), so we’ll see how that works out. I recently found out that we may be getting Christmas bonuses this year, which could range from 1-2 weeks worth of pay (aka $400-$800) which would be really sweet and would take a lot of the pressure to earn extra money before January off my back.

I’m also a little frustrated with my paycheck, in that I worked 1 hour of overtime, and my paycheck is $50 less than what it is when I didn’t work that hour. So I am a little peeved about that. I’m also a little worried about how much my insurance premiums may go up. We allegedly may get a raise this year, but I really don’t want to cut all of my monies so close…and all I see is my expenses getting higher, so I’m hoping a post-graduate job (#nepotism) will work out.

piggy-bank-with-a-santa-hat-on

So I have my big list of stuff I’d like to do for Christmas, although I don’t know if it will actually work out that way.

 

Right now I’m more concerned with what I’m making:

 

  • A gingerbread hat for the niece (crochet)
  • A sock monkey for the niece (crochet)
  • A sweater for the niece (knit)
  • A hat for the bf’s dad (knit)
  • A case for bf’s mom’s knitting needles (sew)
  • An elephant hat for my brother’s gf (crochet)
  • A hat for roommate B (knit)
  • A stuffed cat for roommate A’s bf (crochet)
  • A sweater for bf’s dog (knit)
  • Secret things for Korea best friend (secret)
  • Baked stuff for errbody! Errybody = coworkers (baking)

And then everyone else will probably have purchased gifts, pending on $$$. If not, I’ll have to make a few adjustments in my made purchases!

This Weekend (aka that time I secretly went to Disney World)

So do y’all remember that time I went to Disney World and was super upfront about doing it? Yeah me either. 😉

PLhMGLYh

bf and myself being touristy

I know what you’re thinking “Hey, don’t you have $14,000 in student loan debt??? Disney is EXPENSIVE!!!” Well, one of my friends began working there as a business analyst, which means perks, so for my birthday, he made magic happen! I had a really fantastic time. At some points it was stressful, but I really wanted to finally take a trip with bf and visit Disney as an adult (without children!). Plus we got to beta test the new Disney bands, which were really convenient and I really love!

Total Savings: $453.75

  • Admission to the park (2-day parkhopper): $258.80 (gift)
  • One night in the resort: $90 (gift)
  • Free night in his aparment: $90 (gift)
  • Splash Mountain Picture Pack: $14.95 (gift)

Total Cost: $120.15

  • Gas per person (4 – we made the 12 hour drive twice): $40
  • Stamped Penny (my favorite souvenier): $0.51
  • Food (trip there/back, Epcot Showcase Festival, dinner in Morocco, lunch at the Coral Reef, & dinner at a sports bar): $75
  • Purse to carry into the park: $5

So it was an incredibly inexpensive trip to Disney World thanks to a dear friend that I was so pleased to see again! 🙂

Thursday: I got off of work at 4:30pm, my roommate got out of class at 6:30pm, and we ended up officially leaving Baton Rouge at 8pm. We drove for a million miles. I didn’t drive the way up and mostly just cuddled with bf.

Epcot Showcase!

Epcot Showcase!

Friday: We arrived around 8:30am to find that my friend had gotten us a huge baker’s dozen of bagels from the glorious Panera bread. We slept all day, then went to the All Star Sports Resort to then take the bus to Epcot. We spent the rest of the night exploring, sampling new foods (Irish seafood & lobster shepherd’s pie, escargot, venison sausage, pickled mushrooms, kimchi, South Korean wine, creme brulee) and then we had Moroccan food at Morocco where they told the people it was my birthday…so free birthday baclava!

d7Zt3ofh

Seafood Bastilla at Marrakesh in Epcot!

Saturday: We got up super early (not actually that early) and headed to the Magic Kingdom! We went through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, rode the Pirates of the Carribean (and got stuck), then I got to meet Chip and Dale, then we rode the Haunted Mansion, and then wandered around Fantasy Land. Then we did the Splash Mountain (yes we did get the digital package) where the guy who checked us out gave me a Dale “nerd” pin because it was my birthday! We then hoofed it to Epcot to have dinner at the Coral Reef, which was pretty, but I wish their menu was bigger! We split up and bf, friend, and I rode the Finding Nemo ride, Mission Space, and went to shop at Italy, England, and tried haggis (pretty good). We went back to the Magic Kingdom to ride Space Mountain, and then split up again to ride the Stitch ride and shoot things with Buzz Lightyear (and rode the People Mover). We left around 8:30 to go get food and watch my university play football at a sports bar (probably the best food I’ve had in a while). We then hung out and went to sleep.

MUnm147h

I did something I’m sure

Sunday: We woke up and went to Downtown Disney! They had the Lego store and a ton of other things. bf got lots of goodies for his family and friends. We then drove the eight million hours (12) home.

Fancy magic bands! #betatesting

Fancy magic bands! #betatesting

So all-in-all a really fun, albeit exhausting trip. And don’t y’all feel special – this is the debut of mah face on BoF. #yolo. Or something like that 😉

Talking about the Joys

b1d1113a048dc4372b6a30a1d540b93b

As I lie here typing this, I can’t see the screen because Annie has decided this would be the perfect time to lay on my chest and make biscuits on my chest while licking my face (I had just eaten some candy corn, apparently she really likes candy corn). This is a joy in my life. The last few weeks I have been a Grumpysaurus Rex, from the time period of “Way too much to worry with at once.” Through this I have been snippy with my bf and roommates, sleeping way too much, and wearing dirty socks to work. In fact, a patient told me I looked like I needed a … liquid lunch (alcohol) at work today. I have been dwelling a lot on a lot of situations that resolved themselves today. I suspect some of my unhappiness had to do with a lot going on at once, and the rest with adjusting the depression meds I had started back in June. Regardless, I was dwelling way too much in the negatives.

Here are some of my recent joys:

  • I am enrolled at my university and as of the end of this semester, a single class stands between me and my diploma
  • My depression medication is 0$ under my new prescription insurance (it was previously 200$), and the dosage has been adjusted
  • I was able to lower my Discover APR by just asking.
  • The lady who works in our math department told me how good I looked and how she didn’t even recognize me
  • Now that I’ve rolled over, there’s a cat making biscuits on my back
  • I have a boyfriend who truly cares about me and is helping me learn what a healthy relationship is
  • I was able to buy my psychology book for freebies because I bought an earlier edition with a $10 gift card I got from filling out a Learnvest survey
  • The Emperor’s New Groove is on Netflix Instant Watch
  • My hair is long enough to properly hold a braid

Don’t forget to revel in the good in life. It’s there 🙂

Don’t Get Stuck on R-R-Repeat

So last night I decided that I was going to do girly-girl things. It’s honestly not really in my nature, and when I was younger I was very disdainful of girls who were constantly concerned with how they looked and particular ways of dressing (read: wore lots of pink and purple). Looking back, it’s probably because I was horrendously unpopular and the best way to deal with people who don’t like you or want to ostracize you is to say “Screw ya! I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it people like me!”

But I’m getting off-topic. After giving my toes some attention, in light pink with a clear overcoat, I went on to my nails…which were suddenly  non-existant…

Back in August, I decided I would stop biting my nails. I thought it would be simple, since I actually remember the conscious decision I made to start, in Pre-K. I mean, all the cool kids were doing it right? But suddenly I was 23 and starting a new job for the government, so I figured “Biting my nails might not be the most professional or hygenic thing in the entire world.” So I did stop. I made it a habit to not. I constantly painted them and used fingernail polish remover (tastes awful). Then, about a month or two ago, I had a hang-nail and nothing in reach to clip it with. So I bit it. And then it was ragged, and uneven, so I bit some more. Then in a flash I was back to where I started, with barely any fingernails to paint 😦

sister-act-acte2-02-g

Control your bad habits! (whomp whomp whomp)

But it got me to thinking, this is actually very similar to how my money habits and fitness habits went awry in March. I stopped logging my food because of an incredibly silly reason. MFP tracks your days, and every 5-10 days it proclaims to the world, “Suchandsuch has logged in for 55 days in a row!” I logged in after midnight on a day and reset my record, so I was back to 0 (from 55). The day I figured that out, I remember eating and thinking “I need to log that, but I’ll get around to it later.” That was the beginning of the end. Apathy. And then I gained 7 pounds that month because I got out of the habit of watching what I ate and out of the habit of exercising.

My money went the same way. I decided “I kind of want McDonald’s…” *checks bank account* “Ehhhh” *sneakily checks Discover balance* “Hmmmm”

And thus I started back down that spiral of considering my credit line to be my cash instead of money that I borrowed, that spiral of instant gratification! And so I ended the month with nothing in savings and not too too much to show for putting money on my credit card.

The Point

Alright, we get it, you suck. So what’s your point? The point, my dear friends, is that it’s so important to keep in mind that as we make our good habits to replace our bad habits, that they also prove that it is easy to fall back if we’re not vigilant or paying attention. I am certainly not saying that eating a slice of cake or buying a pair of shoes that probably shouldn’t cost that much means you’re an awful person who should be locked away, but I am saying that if that cake is followed by another slice, then a heavy breakfast, then second breakfast, then lunch, then a nap, then supper, and then dinner…that’s maybe not a good habit unless you’re a hobbit. And if you’re buying the shoes and then see the necklace that goes with them and then the dress that goes with those and then the jacket…that it’s easy to slip back and then in a month kick yourself in the butt!

tumblr_l5dh0yLl771qbgw2so1_500

My new finance/fitness motto…thanks Moody (RIP)

 

Cooking for One [2,3,…]

Many times, cooking for many is a great thing. You make more, the ingredients are cheaper (or you use all of them before they go bad), and you’ll probably have leftovers. You get great company, and then you can hang out and enjoy yourselves like you’re on a fast track to a laugh track.

If I'm lucky, I get to be Kramer.

So…I think this assumes that you and those you hang out with eat the same thing. No. That never happens. Ever. (okay sometimes, if you’re lucky) So here’s the rundown with my roommates/bf:

  • bf – Does not eat vegetables, Indian food, Greek food, onions, and doesn’t care for steak (& other red meat)
  • roommate #1 – eats everything in the world. twice.
  • roommate #2 – eats lunchables and Greek food
  • roommate #3 – won’t eat it unless it says organic or fat-free

Because the roommates have meal plans, I primarily stick with bf when it comes to meal planning. This is simple sometimes, like when we go to a restaurant or buy our own meals (Spaghetti-Os & Franks v. New England Clam Chowder), but other times…it’s hard. Especially the no onions/vegetables part. So is eating together even more expensive? Sometimes. But what it means is that over the course of the last four years, we’ve discovered some “No-Fail” couple dinners for picky eaters that are also frugal:

  1. Tacos– Super simple. 1lb of ground beef (or turkey if you’re into that). 1 pack of shells with seasoning. Cheese for him, tomatos/lettuce/onions for her, and Voila! It’s assemble your own to high heaven. Plus, you can totally put the leftovers away and have taco salad for lunch the next day!

    Unrelated, but I can't get over how gross this looks. Thoughts?

  2. Homemade Chicken Soup – made this recipe up yesterday (we’ve both been sick, so it seemed appropriate). I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go back for thirds on anything I’ve cooked. Essentially: boiled 2 chicken thighs for an hour in water with garlic and hot sauce. Took ’em out, deboned them. Added the meat and a container of 99% fat free chicken stock to the pot (after pouring out the water) and added fresh water (to kind of keep it from being too chicken-y). Brought to a boil. Added Tony’s, garlic powder, hot sauce, black pepper, salt, and 2 pats of butter. Poured in a ton of those No Yolk noodles (as long as they’re covered by stock/water, it doesn’t matter how many). Boiled it for 12 minutes and done! I cooked a container of onions/veggies separately to add to my bowl. It cost approximately $7 to make, and will last for at least 2 days for both of us ($2 noodles, $3 chicken, $2 chicken stock).
  3. Crack Dip – Okay, this one isn’t so frugal…rehab is getting expensive… 😛 Just kidding. It’s a recipe he found. Apparently it’s “crack dip” because it’s so addictive. It is a little more to make (honestly probably about $15 total), but it’ll last 2-3 days for ~3 people. It’s essentially buffalo chicken dip. I’d suggest going with the last update of the recipe and not even touching any sauce that isn’t buffalo (none of that hot barbecue sauce). Recipe.

    Yummy hands! I mean, dip! It's with crackers here, but I use tortilla chips (better).

  4. Croissant Sandwiches – There’s probably a better name for this, but I don’t know it. You basically take a can of croissants, a pack of lunch meat (preferably chicken – in case you can’t tell, we’re chicken people), and cheese (we like sliced & Swiss). You unwrap the croissants and rewrap them around the lunch meat and cheese, and then throw ’em on a cookie sheet. Bake ’em for the suggested amount of time on the croissants and then you have a bunch of “sandwiches.” They’re really good, but this, of all of them, will make you feel like your life may end soon if you eat too many. Cost: $2 croissants, $2 cheese (will have leftovers), $3 lunchmeat (will have leftovers). Total cost for this: $5 (not including what you have leftover of course!)

If you try any of these, let me know what you think! And feel free to share recipes that don’t require an arm, a leg, and a pound of truffles! This pretty much boils down to that when you spend a lot of time with people, you can gauge what they will and won’t eat, and from that you can come up with frugal, not so frugal, but always delicious recipes that will satiate both of you and answer that age-old question of “so what do you want to eat tonight?”