You know that feeling when you buy something that you have coveted for a really long time? There can be immense satisfaction in owning something shiny and new. In 2010 I purchased a Mini Cooper Clubman with 10,000 miles on it and I was in love. It was a deep brown color and it caught my eye the minute I saw it.
I nicknamed that car “Hot Chocolate” and it looked amazing with my little blue kayak perched on its roof. I loved that car from the moment I laid eyes on it until this week when I gently patted its hood and said good-bye. “Hot Chocolate hit 112,000 miles last month, was burning oil, sounded rough and was started to look her age!
I love to cook. I usually have a main ingredient in mind and then start perusing the fridge and the cabinets to see what else is on hand that I can toss in the pot. I think about what protein I want, what fresh vegetables I have and the spices that will bring it all alive.
Preparing dinner is my down time at the end of the work day. I usually drink a glass of wine or an ice cold IPA while cooking and sing along to my favorite tunes. I start a meal while still thinking about what else to add to it and the final product is often nothing like what I had in mind when I started. I will stop what I am doing to run out to the garden to pick some fresh basil, parsley and tomatoes or at the last minute prepare some type of sauce or salsa to top it all off.
You see, I am not a perfectionist when I cook in the kitchen. I am more of a creator or a sculptor.
Laughing out Loud!!! Ok, Ok. That is a stretch. No one has ever accused me of being an Artist in any way, shape or form.
I have been in vacation and family mode for the last few weeks and have not managed to carve out time to work on my blog or to study for my health coach exam. I have managed to spend actual time in my little yellow (sit on top) kayak, the canoe and relaxing in the lake. My honey and I spent a week vacationing in the Adirondacks with a group of friends and Child #1. That week was full of laughter, games and lake time.
I had some friends visiting from Massachusetts last week and we had a wonderful time! These are the kind of friends who have been in my life for what seems like forever and no matter how mad we get at each other, all is forgiven over a glass of wine or a really good meal.
This friend of mine has a pet peeve bigger then Big Papi’s ability to score a home run in clinch situation. My friend refuses, absolutely refuses to pay for parking. He would rather walk across a bridge, 2 miles in the rain than fork over $5 bucks to park his car.
We jokingly talked about this while driving to go on a hike last week. My honey and I were trying to figure out how to get to a hiking spot we have done many times but we wanted to park at the summit of the hike (where parking is free) vs at the base where parking cost $7.00. Somehow I knew my friend would understand.
I hate shelling out good money on poopy bags for Fenway. It seems such a silly thing but why spend money on squirling away poop? I hit the jack pot over the winter when my honey and I were doing some clean up at her parents and we scored 2 boxes of unused bags that are the perfect size to take care of Fenway’s business. I think I even did a happy dance when I tucked them into the car. I should have plenty of bags on hand to get me through 2017. Yeah!
For the last few years, I have been reading several early retirement and financial blogs for inspiration. As I have already passed the BIG 50 milestone, extreme early retirement is not really feasible at this point but I love the concept nonetheless.
The blogs I read are written by people who maximized their income, minimized their expenses and saved like crazy. They worked incredibly hard for a period of time and socked away their money so they could retire in their 30’s. Go Google “early retirement blogs” and spend some time reading for inspiration!
According to the USDA, the average American throws away over 200 pounds of edible food every year. Yes, I said 200 pounds.
The USDA also reports that over 13 million children under the age of 18 live in households where they are unable to consistently have access to nutritious food.
Think about those numbers for a minute. 13 million children in the US have difficulty obtaining healthy food. 13 million. After contemplating that statistic for a minute, I literally teared up. If you have even 1 drop of empathy in you, I imagine you did too.
Where do you stand in regards to technology? Do you love owning the latest and greatest? Do you rush out to buy the newest fads as soon as they are released? Do you use the newest, hippest apps to pay bills, get a ride, order a pizza, and track your steps? Or are you still using a flip phone, cashing your paycheck at the bank and using an instant camera?
I enjoy taking advantage of shiny new toys that make life easier but I don’t need the latest and greatest technological gadgets. As long as my stuff works, I don’t generally feel the need to upgrade.
I have an iPhone 4 that I bought refurbished 3 years ago for $100 bucks. I figure if I get another year out of it I will have spent $25 year to own a phone. I wonder how much an old rotary phone cost back in the day? I am certain it was less than $100 and it lasted forever.
I have read a lot of finance books and one of the exercises I completed was to write down the worst money decision I ever made. For me, this was an easy assignment as buying a house was the worst money mistake I have ever made. I lived in Eastern Massachusetts where houses are expensive. I bought an old (1790) house that was cute as a button and only 17 miles from work. 17 miles from the South Shore of Boston thru the big dig construction to Somerville which is just north of Boston. My daily commute was awful!
I didn’t have a 20% down payment and I didn’t do my research in terms of interest rates, closing costs, property taxes… I didn’t love the town the house was located in, I only knew 1 person who lived nearby. I knew my mortgage payment was going to be a huge chunk of change but I was dead set on owning a single family house with a fenced in yard.
Boy did I loved that house! It had 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 2 fireplaces and a beehive oven. It had a huge yard and a garage. Did I mention 2 fireplaces – one in my bedroom!
Remember the EpiPen incident from September 2016? The auto-injection adrenaline system that wards off anaphylactic shock? Yes, the same device my honey and I neglected to pack in our bike gear on that beautiful September morning?
Yes, that same September day when she got stung by an unknown insect and went into anaphylactic shock. I needed to call 911 from the bike path and she ended up spending the afternoon in the emergency room. Neither of us will ever forget that day. If you don’t remember it, check it out here.