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Thursday, April 13

Hi friends,

It sure does seem like life is moving much faster than I have time to update the blog. It's been a few weeks since I've shared a life update here on the blog, so let's have a cup of coffee and a chat.

Work & Community

Probably the biggest things that have been drawing my attention were the Cayce Festival of the Arts and a major meeting in my professional organization, which I am president of this year. How did let myself get into a situation where I hold a significant planning role in two events within two weeks of each other?



The Cayce Festival of the Arts is an art show that our neighborhood association puts on each spring; I've been a co-chair of the planning committee for three years now, and I'm proud of the work that we've done to grow the event. But it sure is a lot of work. I was pretty whooped by Sunday.



In our professional organization NAIFA-SC, our state board had the opportunity to bring in an internationally-renowned speaker to speak at our major chapters. Since we had such a great speaker, we also decided to offer continuing education and other services required for license renewal in South Carolina. It was a high caliber meeting, but that means quite a bit of coordinating in the background. The day after our Columbia meeting, I headed down to the Charleston meeting a speaker for them during lunch.

I'm proud of my role in both events, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm also looking forward to my leadership roles coming to a close in both organizations. It's too easy to take on too many responsibilities without realizing how much work it all is. I definitely had too much on my plate this spring.

Diet & Exercise

So let's be honest, I'm a bit off the wagon, and I need to get back to it. A couple weeks ago, I was down 11 pounds and feeling great. In fact, people were starting to comment and ask what I was doing differently. Then the two events I just shared happened and a new restaurant opened within walking distance of our house and my office. Yeah, I'm way off my diet, but I'm ready to get back on track.

It would be nice to regain some of my progress before heading on vacation. And the nice thing is that I know if I can back into my routines over the next week, I should be able to maintain progress while I'm visiting my parents. My step-mom puts together some great, tasty meals with real foods, and my dad is quite the grill master.


I've been feeling really good about jujitsu lately. I'm at that nice point in my training where I'm just enjoying the practice. I can see where I'm improving in some skills - yesterday, I was noticing that I'm getting better at grappling. I can see opportunities while rolling without going to straight savage monkey mind.

I'm expecting to have a really great time at National Convention this month. It's also nice not to have a major promotion looming directly in front of me because exam pressure is no joke.

I do think that as we get closer to our clinic in October, I need to start assessing what I need and when I'd like to test for my second degree -- technically, I'm eligible to test again in October 2018, but I think that's pretty ambitious.

Personal & Professional Development

Between work getting a little crazy for me and my coach's travel schedule, we decided to postpone our first call in April. I have to say that I've grown accustomed to talking to him every two weeks, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it next week. I think our next session is going to cover setting business goals. I've done that the last couple years, but I'm excited to see how my coach can help me make them better.

I am pleased to say that my company has met 25 percent of the income goal I've set for the year, which is right on track for where I should be. I have plans for a big prospecting push when I return to the office in May, so I'm hoping for some rapid growth in the second quarter of the year.

I keep trying to establish journaling and meditation as habits, but I haven't seemed to make them stick yet. It's more like I do them sporadically. If you have suggestions for helping me be more consistent, please leave me a comment.





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Tuesday, April 4

Disclosure: I am an influencer with Grove Collaborative. At no extra cost to you, I may be compensated for sales made via my referral links; thanks for your support of my blog.

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Comment below to tell me your favorite Mrs. Meyers scent and share one bathroom cleaning tip that makes life easier.





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Friday, March 31

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be paid a small commission from sales via these links. Thank you for your support of my blog.



If you are new around these parts, the Mister and I took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course through our church at the end of 2015. We have a goal to to knock out the remainder of our consumer debt in 2017. You can catch up on our journey by checking out our previous recaps:

March Budget

After replenishing our emergency fund in February, we knew we needed to tighten down the budget this month - April is going to be a big one between income taxes and my trip to Washington and California coming. The biggest areas for us to "save" money in is food and clothing - we bought no clothes and saved about $60 in the grocery spending.

We did have one home-repair expense pop up: during the hurricane last October, we nearly lost one of our dogwoods. Now that the trees are starting to bloom, my friend at the tree company said we needed to get the dogwood properly staked down. Fortunately, we were able to cashflow the expense.



March Victories & Blessings

I kind of have to laugh because the Mister is back to his second job, which I said last month he had let go of. Basically, a regular employee of theirs is traveling for about six weeks, and they asked the Mister if he'd cover some of the shifts. Not complaining about the extra money.

The Mister also picked a bunch of overtime last month at his full-time job, which we don't include in our extra income graphic.

Since we're just about finished with my mother-in-law's bedroom update, we're hoping that after Easter, we'll be able to add some repair jobs back into the schedule. And I'm going to ramp up my prospecting at work after the holiday as well.

In spite of our lower extra income, we still threw nearly $300 extra dollars at our debt snowball in March.



If you want to take control of your finances, I'd suggest reading The Total Money Makeover. Or go online to daveramsey.com to find a Financial Peace University course starting near you.


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Thursday, March 23

I'm a proud furbaby mama, and that makes National Puppy Day a happy one in our house.

My pups definitely brighten my mood. I don't think there's anything better than a waggly tail greeting me at the door after a long day at work.


If you're new around these parts, let me introduce you to our pups - Roscoe and Paige. We rescued Paige from a local shelter in 2009; she's about 10 years old now. Roscoe is a foundling; you can read more about his gotcha story here. Both pups are regular visitors on my Instagram account; follow me @highheeledlove.

To be honest, there's a lot of pups in my Instagram feed because puppy tongues make me smile. Here are some great pupstagram accounts that will brighten your day:







Don't all the puppy tongues just brighten your day?

Tell me what you're doing to celebrate the four-legged friends in your life. Also, comment to share your favorite puppy Instagram accounts.




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Monday, March 20

I am so excited to see that today is the first day of Spring. The weatherman hasn't caught up to the idea since we're supposed to have freezing temperatures all week, but by next weekend, it should be gorgeous outside.

I need a little spring in my life. I love this time of year. Nearly everything in our yard blooms, and we can leave our windows open. And the Mister and I start our vegetable garden and spend lots of time on the patio in the back yard.


And to celebrate the changing of seasons, I'm sharing my spring bucket list with you because sometimes you just need a list to organize all the ideas in your head. Here's everything I hope to accomplish over the next couple months:


Plant a butterfly garden

23 Butterflies of North America And the Flowers They Love - Avasflowers.net - Infographic
Avasflowers.net

Make strawberry jam

Make and put up a spring wreath

Inspiration:


Send an Easter gift package to my niece and nephew

Dry lavender for spring sachets

Have cocktails on the patio

Take some goofy Easter photos of the dogs

Inspiration:

Ride my bicycle as much as possible



What are your favorite spring activities? Tell me in the comments what you would add to my bucket list?



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Monday, March 13

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be compensated for purchases made via these links; thanks for your support of my blog.


Y'all, this post is long overdue. I've mentioned a couple times on the blog and social that I've been working with a coach to improve my business productivity and feel like I have a better handle on life. I'm actually doing two programs at the moment:
  • a series of weekly video training sessions over the course of a year called Train Your Brain Weekly, which I started in October
  • working directly with a coach one-on-one via 12 coaching calls, which I started last month

One of the systems that I started implementing is scheduling a two-hour meeting each week, during which I connect with and envision the success of each week. This is a little more than just laying out my schedule in my planners - I actually use three planners.

I explain more about how I plan my week in this Facebook Live video:


Here are some resources that I use:


The coach programs that I'm working with are available through Freedom Personal Development.

To learn more about the long list short list, check out this post at Four Hats & Frugal.

If you're not in a position to hire a coach but still want to learn more, I'd suggest picking up a copy of the book Train Your Brain for Success by Roger Seip, co-founder of Freedom Personal Development.





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Tuesday, February 28

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be paid a small commission from sales via these links. Thank you for your support of my blog.



If you are new around these parts, the Mister and I took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course through our church at the end of 2015. We have a goal to to knock out the remainder of our consumer debt in 2017. You can catch up on our journey by checking out our previous recaps:

February Budget

Here's the thing about living on a written budget - the longer we do it, the less I feel like I have to say about it in these posts. Because what used to be challenging just doesn't create money drama any more.

In February, we had to dip into the emergency fund to help cashflow a house repiping. So the first priority was to re-fund it, which is done.  Also, the water pressure in the house is a-MAZ-ing. I had no idea what I was living without until it was fixed.


February Victories & Blessings

So, you'll probably notice that the extra income is down quite a bit since last month. There's two reasons for that:

  • The Mister's extra job restructured some things, and they mutually agreed it was time to let that shift bless someone else.
  • We've been spending most of our weekends updating my mother-in-law's bedroom and bathroom, which has meant not hustling some side work.


We're comfortable with that. The Mister has been working so hard these last months, and we need a little time for him to rest and get some things done at home. He has been picking some overtime up at work, which has helped the budget as well.

In spite of the lower extra income and the dip into the emergency fund, I'm happy to report that we still paid off more than $700 on the debt snowball in February!


If you want to take control of your finances, I'd suggest reading The Total Money Makeover. Or go online to daveramsey.com to find a Financial Peace University course starting near you.


Subscribe to my email for more frugal living and budgeting ideas.

Subscribe Here

* indicates required
Email Format





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Sunday, February 26

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may be compensated for purchases made via these links. Thanks for your support of my blog.

Hi everyone,

I'm a little embarrassed to be apologizing for another blog break because I feel like I just did this last month. I'm not quite sure what happened in February to my blogging schedule.

I have been using a new method of planning and scheduling my week, which has proved to be quite successful and allow productivity in other parts of my life and business. But apparently, the time block that I've allotted for blogging has not been a good fit since this is only the second post that I've written this month.

Nonetheless, I feel that I owe you an update on life so let's get to it.

Diet & Exercise

I've been rocking and rolling on my weight loss journey via Weight Watchers. My first month of working the program has yielded a loss of 6.5 pounds, which I'm pretty darn pleased with. It's been a long time since I've felt so good about the food that I put in my body and felt so comfortable in my own skin.


Changing my food habits has also prompted me to be much more diligent about getting some walking time nearly every day with my pups. It's been good for all of us and has given the Mister and I some time to catch up each day.

In jujitsu, I've been working on discovering my role as a sensei. I still feel like I have so much to learn, so I can't say I'm 100 percent comfortable being in a teaching role. I just have to have faith that it will get easier and more familiar as I do it more.  I did get the honor of my first experience with signing promotion certificates as a sensei this week.


General Life

I have to laugh at myself because I am also now quite hooked on my Lularoe leggings, which is pretty funny to me since about a month ago I was telling my mother-in-law that I'm thought they were too expensive and didn't understand the hype.

Now, I own six pairs of leggings.The leggings are as comfortable as people say. (If you don't have a rep yet, let me know. I'll hook you up with my cousin's group.)


The Mister and I have been spending almost every weekend at his mother's condo this month. We've been helping her paint her bedroom, bathroom and closet. It turned out she needed a new water heater, and since the heater is installed in the back of her walk-in closet, she and I took emptied the closet. We've been going through everything and taking many loads of clothes to Goodwill and Dress for Success. And I won't lie, some of the clothes have also moved into my closet.

Personal Development

Oh, and as a quick update to one of my video updates from last month, I did decide to hire a business/life coach. The coach I've been paired with is named Robb Z; he's awesome and full of energy. We've worked together on two sessions, and we laugh a lot, but I can already see growth in my mindset and productivity.


One of my personal resolutions this year was to do better with reading more books. I used to read all the time, and that habit fell by the wayside the last few years. I've been listening to some books on Audible as well as physically reading.

Looking to the future

The Mister and I have been seriously starting to discuss our garden for this spring. Last year, we were too busy to properly plan it. Between the desire to eat more locally and to save money, we're pretty committed to planting a big garden this year.

After reading Ruth Soukup's book, there's a very good possibility that we'll be taking her unstuffed weekend challenge, outlined in the book. I'm so tired of living with clutter all around us, and getting the extra stuff out of the house can only be a wise move toward the idea that we'd like to move in a few years.

I think that I'll be moving this blog to Wordpress within the next month or two, and I'm considering a re-brand at that time. I'm thinking about focusing more on living simply and more sustainably, how we balance our home/work/jujitsu life and sharing more of our home creation projects. What do you think?




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