Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrifting Adventures.

Well this week has been good for me thrifting wise.

I finally got a frame for my problem child. I was going to leap for an $8 one but I couldn't see myself paying that much, fortunately, it didn't seem like an easy frame to remove the picture from so I talked myself out of it. Then on a whim on Tuesday, I went back and I found the perfect frame for 4.99.

I spray painted it black last night to match the rest of my framed objects in the space but of course I got spray on the plexi glass. But thanks to Ms. Google, I found a solution to that, nail polish remover, unfortunately, it got a bit cloudy plus in my overzealousness i cracked the plexiglass. Sigh. At least it removed the spray pain from my fingers. Oops, was supposed to use non acetone. oh well. hehe. Next google search...
Go me, I remembered the before picture

Problem child.I have spent way too much on you! First it was the wood that wouldn't fit. The canvas was uneven, fortunately I had black poster board lying around from a previous framing project, so I used it as backing. It can match the black paint left over on the plexi glass. LOL.

I also found an ivory blazer for $3. Very eighties with shoulder pads and all which i promptly took out when I got home. I am going to see if i can wear it to a white themed party am going to for three hot seconds on Saturday night.

But the best best best of all was yesterday. So many Sundays ago, I went to my favorite Goodwill and found some cute stuff. I found this beat up dresser/cabinet?/buffet? with loads of potential for $60, really well made but just abused. I literally sat next to that thing for 20 minutes as I plotted how I would get it home. I only have a little convertible and this thing is a beast so I couldn't pop the top down and load it in like i've done in the past. So I sadly kept on going. I also saw some white chairs that I thought would be perfect for the space but it wasn't compelling enough for me to buy them at $40 bucks a pop.

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday. I kept dreaming about my dresser and finally I went after work to see if it was still there. It WAS. And it was reduced by 50%. I bought it on the spot! I felt it was a sign even though I still had no way of getting it home.The chairs had been sold, but they had just been sold because they were still sitting there.  I ended up renting a pick up truck from U-Haul and plan to pick it up today.

Let me go get ready for work, the funding source for my new addiction.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I need motivation

My goal was to look good for the wedding. Well, the wedding has come and gone. I have no desire to run or workout anymore. Or even to eat. This is not good. I need some motivation, ASAP, STAT, NOW, immediately.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One weekend in Boston...

My much anticipated weekend in Boston finally arrived and ended too quickly. 

The wedding was fun especially since for once I didn't have the stress of running around like a chicken with her head cut off. I just sat down, crossed my legs and looked very pretty in my outfit. I reconnected with so many old friends that I grew up with. It was fun! 
Outfit: aso ebi designed by my cuz. :) they are shorts!
Bag: Asos
Bangles + Earrings: Chic Therapy. Random silver bangles
Body by the Travelin' Trainers

Church on Sunday was great. I went with my two sisters and their husbands to Jubilee. The message was on point. I need to make sure I get the tape so I can really pay attention. It was great to go to church as a family. Quick parallel, the church was so excited that the oldest son was coming to town to preach. The church was packed. My sisters were just as excited about my return, quiet as its kept. Well, parents are always excited, that's a given. 

Brunch with my sisters was so awesome too.  We went to Darryl's Corner Bar and Kitchen in Roxbury/South End (depending on who you ask) formerly known as Bob the Chef. Delicious! We just sat and talked and talked and talked. I love my family soo much. And then just like a dream it was over and  I'm writing this 30000 miles above sea level headed to Dallas. 

 Sun was in my eyes.
 I somehow lost my  shades at the party. Only me.
So excuse the crazy pose. LOL.

Shirtdress: Banana Republic Outlet
Shoes: Target
Belt: From Jason Wu dress
Accessories: Earrings, bangle, necklace: LaBella Fashions
Bag: Thrifted. Goodwill Aventura Miami

That weekend right there should be a regular occurrence in my life. Well, not the rich food part, I'll be a roly poly. If I had that fellowship with friends and family regularly, work wouldn't be so dreary. God knew what He was doing when he placed man in family. You need to draw from that well of love on a regular basis in order to be able to live well, work well, love well. I have to make it happen somehow: put myself in a community of friends and family. God make it happen for me please. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Life's little ironies

I am going to be debt free this month. Yay. That massive debt that I started the year with will soon be no more by May ending. I thank God because He really helped me and was very understanding about a few things.

I use a free little spreadsheet to make my monthly budget and also to make a list of all my consumer debt. I love it because I can see everything at a glance and I can calculate to my heart's contents within the program without having to drag out my calculator (the computer one lol of course.)

After the church I currently attend did a two or three week sermon series on debt using Dave Ramsey's principles (it's called Life Church for a reason-so far every sermon has had real life applications for me), I changed two things in my spreadsheet. I introduced the red cells to mark out the debt I had completely paid off, and contrary to conventional wisdom, I paid off the lowest debt first. Dave Ramsey calls it the snowball effect. Thanks to my spreadsheet, I see that there really is no change in when the total debt would be paid off, (I have a little function cell that calculates how many months i have to pay off), but Dave Ramsey was going for how good it feels to see the paid off debts accumulate. He is right, it feels good to see all that red on my spreadsheet. I don't know why I chose red though, don't even like the color. 

Anyway, so this month is the first time in a looong time that I bounced a check. Isn't that ironic? I mean all year I've been operating at a negative according to my spreadsheet (outcome much greater than income), hit by many surprises, higher than expected light bill, increase in gas prices thus affecting my budgeted amount, the girl I was training with dropping out so I had to pay the entire trainer fee by myself instead of the half that I could comfortably pay etc but I had never bounced a check. But this month, the last month, the month where I was even paying less in debt, and I had extra instead of a deficit, I bounced a check.

I found it so ironic. It's all a matter of timing of course, a payment came in late and a payment went out early and that threw everything off but its so odd you know. There's a lesson in this somewhere. I am pretty sure. To be frank, I wasn't stressed out, because I already knew the outcome, whatever negative balance my bank account says right now, I am going to be debt free at the end of this month, without having to be creative about anything, no need to steal from peter to pay paul as i did at one point blatantly and I have been doing all along but God is very understanding like I said ;) (I have been hiding behind the fact that I don't have a church home as reason for paying back my tithes, sigh. Bad, I know. But umm yeah, while I decide on Life Church or any church I guess I can give my tithes to YouVersion/Biblegateway because I use those sites daily.)

All this reminds me of a verse that I first really read in medical school and really helped get me through the doubt and fear back then:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10. 

I read that verse way back in 2005 as part of a Charles Stanley devotional and it really calmed my fears. See, my journey and acceptance into medical school was not a given, good grades, automatic entry but a sign of God's infinite grace towards me. So I would tell myself, you know what God put you here for a reason so best believe He will be faithful to complete what He has started in you, Phil 1:6. 

So it is with this ironic negative balance. I knew the outcome, come May 25th, I will have a spreadsheet covered in red with zero balance on everything so I didn't sweat it at all. 

Now to apply that verse to every other aspect of my life for which I am in the waiting room. 

It is well. 

Post Script/Shoutouts
First, I am always complaining about customer service, so let me give praise where praise is due to Bank of America right now. Without any hassle, they erased the overdraft fee and set things to right. I am still in awe over that one. 

Second, Charles Stanley. He is one of my favorite TV preachers. In 2004, his ministry- In Touch Ministries- had a online bible school that was totally free of charge: Charles Stanley Institute. I lived for those daily classes, quizzes and memorization of bible passages. I even earned my certificate and had it hanging in my study room in my old apartment whilst in medical school. Shoot, I still have that certificate with me right now in El Paso.  Every month I would get his monthly letter in the mail until I left Miami (geez 7 years) and it was always on point for my life. I also loved the ministries monthly magazine. I stopped receiving it though, I guess I should have updated my mailing address with them. He took every photo on the cover. I thought that was pretty amazing too. 

Ok, this is long enough. Am going to be late for work. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Give me your burdens.

Remember this post?

Well I finally made it to church on Sunday, and God told me very clearly this.

The short version is this: "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 NLT.

So I gave Him all the things I had been accusing myself of, and took on His forgiveness. And I feel very light indeed, as I dance in the unforced rhythms of grace

God truly listens.  

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Just thoughts in my head...

I wonder if doing a blog post can count as a morning page exercise. I didn't do my writing exercise yesterday and now I find myself reluctant to do one now. Instead, I've been perusing design blogs and whatnot.

My plants are coming up so nicely. Did I mention that I planted some plants the other day? It will be three weeks this coming Sunday. I have pictures!! Am so excited. My little herb garden is sorta fluorishing. I might move them from the guest room to the patio. But really, I think the best light is in the guest room. The patio is forever shady. You can see the sun from the patio but it doesn't really beat down on the plants. Hope the plants there ontinue to grow. I really should have labeled the pots, now I don't know what is what. I know what I planted: yellow squash, mesclun, spinach, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi these are all in the blue and green barrels. $1 from dollar tree. As far as the hanging pots, I planted flowers. That's all I can say about that. I only have one package left from the three I planted. Oh, it's coming back to me. Sweet Pea, Four O Clocks, and one other.

Herbs, 2 weeks prior. From left to right: thyme, rosemary/mint/, basil

Before they were plants...

Top row flowers, bottom vegetables...

The very first plant to germinate. Alas, am not sure what it is. 

Herbs, 2 weeks after.

Sunrise. Ignore the time, it's really 6:20am

Future Vegetables. Again, no idea what's what. I really should label.

This flower is vigorously growing. Keep it up. 

Oops, this post took longer than anticipated. Guess I will be running this evening after all.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I'm so excited

I tasked myself this week with visiting a thrift store everyday this week. I had fallen out of the daily habit after I bought my armchair because I was getting a bit out of control and I was supposed to be on a budget which was already in the red.

I would drop in now and then and find some fabulous stuff. Like Easter Sunday, I was looking for a lamp and found a beautiful vase for my dining table. Or when I stopped by the Goodwill on McRae and I-10 where everything is 50% off (except furniture) and I found this amazing wall clock that was huge and had river/ocean background, or when I found my gold mirror for my entry way at the Goodwill on George Dieter. I should do a picture heavy post soon.

Hmm, so much for my ban on thrifting. Actually, I think I had been going in once a week if I had time or was in the area.

So yeah, I went on Monday and I found a headboard with 2 nightstands for $99! I was so amazed! I thought about it for about 2 minutes and bought it right there and then. They had loads of other cool stuff, like this amazing sofa with beautiful feet and ugliest upholstery ever. But it was solid and just $70. If I had a place for it, I would have bought it tout de suite.

I am excited because I am going to be working on my "guest room" next. I found a beautiful white cabinet at Marshall's on Friday that I didn't pick up cos of my cheapness. It was $140 and I thought it was too much but the thing hasn't let me be. I keep thinking about it and have even decided to turn the guest room all white with splashes of color in honor of it. I haven't had a chance to make it to Marshall's to see if the cabinet is still there.
I hope it is. The bedset I bought isn't white, but it's good quality wood so I am going to paint it white and see. I am nervous! The style is not necessarily my style (midcentury, minimalist etc) but I like it a lot, plus the headboard is kinda what I was envisioning and searching for on overstock and co. I have put a budget of $400 on the whole remodel. So, this find brings me way below that plus I can afford the cabinet now. Yipee!

I have to really shout out Goodwill on Fairbanks and Rushing especially after my article on customer service. They were so awesome. They went above and beyond to help me take apart the headboard and load it in my car. Now, am not surprised because I have always had good service at Goodwill, no matter which one I go to, whether Eastside, Westside, Northeast, they have been superb.

Pictures to come maybe.