Fit Latina in the Making: We’re Burning my Big Clothes

So I’ve officially reached the 18 pound loss…almost halfway to my 1st goal!  I’ve also had a lot of fun moments recently with clothes that I have in my closet. Many items that were just a little snug are either fitting just right or are actually now loose and it’s AWESOME.

This fashionista could care less what the scale says every morning! I’m much more interested in the clothing and shoes I see in my future.  I know that the number on the scale is an indicator of what some of the clothes will look like but the actual fit of some pieces is what truly motivates me. I want to be able to wear anything in the store that I like – within reason of course.  I am almost 40 and don’t plan on dressing like a 20 year old. I won’t be one of those women – regardless of how hot I get (ha!).

So imagine my giggles when Ray is talking about going shopping when I reach the next 20 pounds. I chuckled because I know I have pieces of clothing in my closet now that will finally fit again.  I happened to mention this to him and he immediately asked:

“When we reach this next target, can we burn your bigger clothes?”

No.  We will not burn them.  I don’t believe in such waste.  However, I will get them out of my House and donate them to a women’s shelter or salvation army.

donate clothes

Doesn’t even need a handshake. It will get done.

2016 Midyear Checkpoint

Well let’s just say that this year has not gone the way I thought it would go back in January when setting some personal goals.  I can’t say anything negative or bad has happened, but I haven’t really pushed forward with many of my fun, non-work related goals.

This stagnant status seems to be a trend for me and it’s one I reflect on annually. However, the annual reflection without action is really starting to piss me off. I’m always offering advice to younger relatives and friends about how they need to plan out their goals and take the baby steps to get there, but here I am at the same place in a lot of areas of my life.

I’ve done well professionally and am so grateful to be part of an organization that cares for its employees and has a direct positive impact on the families it serves. Outside of wishing I had a better handle of my work-life balance, I really have no real complaints about my professional life. Are there areas of improvement there?  Yes, of course – there always should be if you care about your work!

Where I feel like I’ve just stopped pushing is on items that affect my personal fun goals. So let’s use this Memorial Day to do a little reflection and status check.

When I look at the goal planning session I conducted earlier this year, there were four main areas that I decided to put a little more emphasis on for 2016 and my theme was to commit.

Financial Health

  1. Eat out Less – failing miserably
  2. Pay down 1% of my student loans – I reached about 30% of that goal
  3. Create a new revenue source by stocking my etsy shop – still empty!
  4. Have a 3 month emergency fund – not even 1 month yet but there are now savings that I haven’t touched in quite some time (major progress)
  5. Start a weekly savings plan – am officially on wk 4 of a 26-week $1000 savings plan

Physical Health

  1. Workout 3x/week – has not happened once!
  2. Increase my daily steps to 10K/day – barely hitting 5k/day
  3. Drink 8-12 cups of water/day – I have been habitually confusing diet coke and coffee for water
  4. Cook more at home – this one happens in spurts

Home Health

  1. Declutter closets – I start but never finish
  2. Declutter shoes – donated 5 pairs of shoes (so much more should go)
  3. Declutter my craft room – I keep adding to it instead
  4. Donate or sell more than you accumulate – not even close

Mental Health (have more fun)

  1. Read 12 books – I am one book behind for my 1 book/month pace
  2. Regular blog posts – ha ha ha ha (I didn’t really need to answer that one)
  3. Do something creative every day – I am realizing that while I would love this, it just isn’t realistic

While I can’t say I’ve been completely ignoring everything on this list, it is frustrating to see that nothing has had good or consistent progress.  I think I may have bitten off more than I could chew for 2016, so I am going to pick one goal in each area to focus on for the remainder of the year. If any of the other items get completed too – they will be an added bonus!

I’m trying to not be too hard on myself because I always strive to be better and at times think I should excel in everything that I do.  However, it’s time to give myself a little breathing room and acknowledge the fact that I set way too many goals for myself.  It’s fantastic to set goals to reach but if these are all challenge areas to begin with, what makes me thing I can accomplish it all just by writing it down?

There has to be room for baby steps and time for habit development.

 

 

 

 

Financial Fridays: Selling Used Books Online

One of the other items on my areas to declutter is my bookshelf. I looooooooooooove my books, but I also really love my Kindle. I don’t re-read many of my books so the hard copies tend to pile up on my bookshelf. While I haven’t entirely given up on reading hard copies of books, I also haven’t been very good about moving books out of my home.

In an era where many libraries no longer accept used books, it gets harder and harder to decide what to do with the books you longer care to keep. They look pretty on the shelf, but all most of them do is collect dust.

IMG_5835

I could always use them for crafting…but there really is only so much I can do with the pages of a book. It is also so painful to tear out the pages of a book for crafting because someone else might have really enjoyed said book. I know that I can always take them to a thrift store or a used book store, but I’d hate for them to end up on a shelf only to be tossed in landfill because no one buys them.

So I decided to see how easy it is to sell them on-line. Like my clothes venture last week, I realized eBay and Amazon were options but it seemed too tedious of a process and would require me to actively keep an eye on my listings so I could mail them out when, and if, purchased. That was so not going to work for me. I’m looking for easy.

Like the online consignment clothes stores, I discovered that there was a whole host of on-line stores that buy back your books (and textbooks). They outright buy them for a certain amount, and then I’m assuming they sell them for a profit.

There are quite a number of sites out there to try, but the one that seemed to get the most positive reviews was ckybooks.com – you can sell books, movies, CDs and games. You literally enter the ISBN or UPC number and they tell you if they are looking to buy that item.  They’ll tell you how much they’ll pay for them so you can decide if it’s worth your time. I haven’t hit the jackpot with anything I’ve entered so far, but I like the user-friendly concept.

If you reach a certain level of payback (I think it’s $40), they even pay for you to ship the items to them.

Seems simple, right?  It is, but it’s going to take a lot of items to get anywhere near $40 in my household. One of my books will only get me $0.15. I guess that’s better than nothing, but is it worth me shipping?  Not sure yet. I’ve only just starting inputting identifying codes, so we’ll see. The process seems easy enough that it could be fruitful if you have recent textbooks and novels.  My books are all pretty old.

Another great site I discovered in this quest is BookScouter.com – you enter your ISBN number and it searches all the online buyers for you and compares their buyback offers. They even rank the sellers on reliability for payment. One of the books I had entered into the CKYbooks site was being bought at a higher price somewhere else.

So it will take work and you’ll have to read the fine print about condition and minimum amounts so you achieve free shipping.  Clearly, a $0.15 payment for a book that I’d need to ship for around $3 would not be worth the mailing.

I’m going to give this a go and report back!

My biggest kitchen challenge

So here’s a secret about myself….(note: my closest friends know this isn’t a secret)

I’m super organized at work but not at all as organized at home. This drives me crazy and I go into deep cleaning/organizing waves when the chaos starts to add stress to my coming home from work. Home should be where I go to unwind after a tough and/or long work day but I don’t prioritize organizing my own belongings.

I know that part of my chaos issue is that I tell myself I’m too tired to deal with so I just ignore it. Obviously, doing this multiple days a week means that things start to pile up – laundry, dirty dishes, mail, etc. I also use the excuse that I live alone and no one will see the mess unless I invite them over.

This is no way to live a life. I should be ready for impromptu visits (which I hate) at all times. I shouldn’t be afraid to have friends come over to pick something up or to just hang out. I like my house…I like my friends and family…so I should be able to have them over on a whim.

So I’ve decided that I will do a weekly examination of my lack of household organization and start tackling the reason behind it and put a plan in to motion.

Issue #1: I hate doing dishes (partly because I don’t have a dishwasher)

1. I can’t add a dishwasher because I don’t own my place, so I need to find a solution that works.

2. I love to cook so that means there will always be a pile of dishes.

3. I often only have dinner at my house.

So my solution to the pile up of dirty dishes is to reduce how many I produce. No, this doesn’t mean I’ll be eating out more! I’ve decided to adopt a non-popular solution.  Solution #1: Paper plates and disposable utensils! 

paper plates

I know it’s not eco-friendly to go this route, but I need to make a choice that helps me stay more organized in a space I use daily. For meals that are just made for me, it will be much easier to eat and toss. Sure, I’ll still have to wash pots & pans, but if I can lessen the amount produced, maybe I can get in to the habit of leaving the sink clean every day. I’ll of course be kind to my guests and bust out the real plates and silverware.

Solution #2: make sure the sink is clean every night before going to bed.

These all seem easy and doable. Let’s see if I can keep it up!  There is no reason why I can’t keep the sink clean. Washing dishes always takes less time than i think it will. It will be even less if I just tackle on the spot. So I need to create a new habit – one that lessens the stress of the visual chaos and keeps my house clean!