Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Homemade chocolate pudding rocks.  Must make again!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nursing a newborn is a tremendously time consuming task.  Thankfully, a laptop and many trips to the library for books help me utilize this time.  

I have recently branched out and added the following blogs to my blogroll:

A couple of articles caught my eye:

Is It Over-Sharing To Post Fetal Ultrasounds on Facebook?

The Juggle, July 22, 2009, 1:58 AM ET, By Marisa Wong

I say yes, but I tend to be a more private person and have a really like/find it fascinating/think it is weird relationship with Facebook.  Personally, I did not post much about my pregnancy on Facebook although I certainly know people that do/have.  I did post an announcement about his birth, but didn't include anything that wouldn't have been in a regular print birth announcement. 

Tri-Level Emergency Fund

Frugal Dad recommends keeping some cash on hand (around $500), about $1,000 at a local bank, and the largest bulk of the emergency fund in an online account or other savings account. 

I had certainly heard of having cash on hand and having a large emergency fund for unexpected issues.  However, I had not thought of having money in a local bank.  For families like us whose bank does not have bricks and mortar branches this makes even more sense.  In some kind of disaster we could not get at the bulk of our asset easily.  I am not a doom and gloom person, but it is something worth thinking about.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Student Loan


One student loan paid off!!  (one to go)

After some deliberation about six months ago, we decided to get really aggressive with our student loan payments.  After years and years of paying, we were just sick and tired of having these payments.

We actually reduced the amount of money being withdrawn into my retirement account and have redirected that to the loans.

I know some advisors would advise against this, saying that the money earned in interest in the retirement account is greater than the money paid in interest to the loans.

However, for us, it made sense.

  1. Psychologically it was just depressing to have these payments.  We have both been out of school for some time
  2. I think debt, in general, is not a good thing
  3. I pay the student loan immediately once the funds are available, so we do not use that money for other things.  This is key.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get the Look

Washington Post, July 23, 2009, Terri Sapienza

  • White floors create a nice foundation for furniture to rest on
  • Paint different rooms in variations of one color
  • Freshen rooms with painted furniture
  • Stay away from formal, fussy fabrics
  • Group like items together
  • In the kitchen, leave bare wall space for found objects
  • When arranging furniture, start with one large, quality investment
  • Avoid a neutral palette that is flat and dull by using different shades of beige and by picking fabrics and finishes with varying textures
  • Affordable doesn't mean unstylish
  • Replace fussy, old china with simple white ironstone
  • Grandfather clocks can be very serious and very boring.  But Swedish grandfather clocks are nice because they are whimsical and can be an architectural element

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I am constantly cutting out articles from the newspaper.  What inevitably happens is that the articles then pile up, and I eventually throw them out.

Trying a new strategy today.  Going to document what I think is interesting out of the article on the blog, and then throw the paper away.  

Article on procrastination from Washington Post, March 31, 2009, by Erica Davis Bak

The gist: if you are a procrastinator, you are not alone and that there are strategies to help.  

A study divided procrastinators into two groups: those that delay out of fear of failure, judgment and even success and those called "arousal procrastinators" who wait for the thrill of it.  

Never really thought about there being differences in the types of procrastinators.  I would fall into the first category.  I thought it was interesting that they included the fear of success as a reason.  I totally agree though.  In most cases, I'm not afraid of failing at something, but what happens if I succeed?  What else will be expected of me?  Can I live up to those expectations?  What if I am not as successful next time?

"A recent study suggests that consciously changing the way we think about things we have to do --approaching them as concrete steps rather than abstract ideas--may help even chronic procrastinators."

Agreed.  Saying, "I need to clean out the office" is a whole lot more intimidating and overwhelming than breaking it down into discrete tasks: for the next 30 minutes, I am going to shred any bill that is older than one year out of the top file cabinet drawer.  OK, totally doable.

"The issue, he said, is giving in to feeling good in the moment.  'We're always looking after how we feel.  Facing a task doesn't make us feel good.'"

Totally true.  This concept has been coming up a lot also in the personal finance books I have been reading lately (more on that to come).  Step back and stop to think and not feel.  Obviously, feeling is important, but there are times when the thought is a better guider than the heart.  I am going to buy this grill because I want it; it will make me feel better to have it.   Instead of thinking about how that fits into the spending plan and thinking logically.

"The greatest grief people have on their deathbed is the things they left undone....For me, procrastination is not the problem of the all-nighter and the last-minute effort," he said.  "It's a problem of not getting on with life itself."

Two words: live intentionally

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Just do all of those icky, yucky things that you don't want to do first!!

Got them off of the list.  Clean it out, move along, do what it takes.

Have a bit of self-discipline!

Just finish them!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Self-pity is an ugly, ugly thing that must be constantly guarded against.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Because what you need to do days before having a baby is to decide to paint every interior wall in the house.  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Totally Awesome Woodworking

My totally awesome husband made this wooden box for our niece whose birthday is in a couple of weeks.  --countless hours of scroll saw work for the cross

It is for her special treasures.