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Thursday, December 31

Hello, friends!

Wow, can you believe that today is the last day of 2015? This year flew by particularly fast, but I'm happy to say that by setting some goals intended to keep me present in the holidays, I can actually remember some of December.

What Happened in December? [Monthly Recap at High-Heeled Love]


Most Popular Blog Post

Who is joining me this morning for #FridayConfessional? Confession is good for the soul, and we promise not to judge.http://bit.ly/HHLFridayConfess120415
Posted by High-Heeled Love on Friday, December 4, 2015


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Today, I'm thankful for a very full closet (which will receive some decluttering today).What are you thankful for? Share in the comments. #dailygratitude #highheeledlove
Posted by High-Heeled Love on Sunday, December 20, 2015


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Did you have a post/pin/tweet in December that surprised you? Is there something on your blog or Facebook page that we might have missed?




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Wednesday, December 30

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. Thank you for your support of my blog.

The Mister and I decided that since we graduated from Financial Peace University, it no longer made sense to write weekly updates, so I'm shifting to a monthly check-in. Our class ended the weekend before Thanksgiving; so, December was our first month with no training wheels.

Our Financial Peace Journey [Dec 2015 Check at High-Heeled Love]

December Budget

You might recall that when we wrote out our December budget, there wasn't much wiggle room. The Mister said the month felt "tight around the collar." In fact, I mentioned in my post about preparing for the holidays on a budget, that we only had $43 to pay for Christmas initially. Another budgeting fail - we forgot to budget for gas for the cars.

Needless to say, we knew that we'd have to pick up some extra income to accomplish everything we wanted to. And once we put that out there, the opportunities arrived:

Our Financial Peace Journey [Dec 2015 Check at High-Heeled Love]

Between the side hustles and winning a few gift cards from some blog opportunities, we were able to pay cash for Christmas and make up for the missing budget item of fuel for the car.

December Victories

I also received a few reimbursements at work that allowed us to completely pay off another item on our debt snowball. We finished up our January budget last night and have started sinking funds for several irregular bills so they won't just deplete the budget in the months they are due.

Since we started our journey in September, we have paid off five accounts, totaling $1950. We have also set aside our baby emergency fund as well as started a savings fund toward taxes.

Our Financial Peace Journey [Dec 2015 Check at High-Heeled Love]

Also, I have taken on the role of accountability partner for a couple close friends who want to start working on their debt snowballs. I'm really excited to help them as they change their financial futures.

Do you want to get started on your journey to financial peace? I'd suggest reading The Total Money Makeover or going to daveramsey.com to find a local Financial Peace University class.

As you look back at December and 2015, what financial accomplishments are you most proud of? What are your financial goals for 2016?




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Monday, December 28

Good morning, my friends!

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. It is so hard to believe that this is the final week of the year. It feels like we just got started with 2015.

I've decided that my word for next year is going to be "Achieve." As I've been thinking about what I want to achieve in 2016, I've thought a lot about my goals and what I can do to accomplish them.

Achieve: High-Heeled Love word of 2016

I have some big goals for 2016. The kind that could get overwhelming without a game plan. So right now, I'm using these definitions to set my goals for next year and achieve them.

Goals are Measurable

Define your goals in such a way that you can measure and determine when you've successfully met them. Get concrete. A generic nebulous goal doesn't allow you to see the victory. Get so specific that you can see the final accomplishment.

Example:
I want take and pass my jujitsu black belt exam in 2016.

Goals are Actionable

Identify the steps that you need to take to reach you goal. Begin with the end in mind and work backwards to determine what steps you need to take in the journey to meet them. Think of them as mini goals that move you toward your ultimate goal.

Example:
Action step 1: Complete my jujitsu notebook to date and take it my sensei to review; schedule additional classes to focus on lists where I need more practice and improvement.
Action step 2: Identify which techniques and lists I have not yet learned and set up time to get notes on these techniques from my sensei.
Action step 3: Identify any other exam requirements such as CPR certifications, first aid course, etc. that need to be completed in order to be eligible; schedule these classes.
Action step 4: Have all appropriate paperwork for exam packet complete no later than 30 month before the exam date


Goals have End Dates

You must set a deadline for your goal so you have the motivation to push. Set deadlines for the action steps and the ultimate goals. The mini goals must be close enough to create urgency so that you don't lose momentum.

Example:
Ultimate goal: Black Belt Exam at our Fall Clinic - October 13-15, 2016
Action step 1: Due date - January 31, 2016
Action step 2: Due date - June 1, 2016
Action step 3: Due date - July 31, 2016
Action step 4: Due date - September 12, 2016

You can see that my goal of passing my black belt exam is 10 months away, but I've created a timeline to be moving toward it with specific measurable mini goals to accomplish along the way.

I'll be talking more about my goals for 2016 later this week. In the meantime, if you'd like a free printable for your 2016 goals, sign up for the High-Heeled Love mailing list.

My first letter will be mailing out tomorrow and will include a pretty printable just in time for the new year; you don't want to miss it.

Have a great week!




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Friday, December 25

Good morning, lovelies!

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

Grab button for FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE-button
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I confess...

I've been enjoying a little time off to spend with family and friends this weekend. I hope you and yours are having a safe and cheerful season full of happiness and laughter.

Friday Confessional: Merry Christmas!

Friday Confessional: Merry Christmas!


Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.







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Friday, December 18

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate and/or referral links. Through no extra cost to you, I may be paid a small commission or referral credit from your purchases. Thank you for your support of my blog.

Good morning, lovelies!

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

Grab button for FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE-button
<div class="FRIDAY-CONFESSIONAL-HIGH-HEELED-LOVE-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.high-heeledlove.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o621/highheeledlove/Blog%20Graphics/HighHeeledLove_zps6db62c81.jpg" alt="FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE" width="200" height="256" /> </a> </div>

I confess...

How is Christmas only a week away?!?

I still have so much to do. Namely, crocheting all the rest of the our Christmas gifts for family members.

I confess...

Even though I declared Wednesday Anti-Procrastination Day in my Virtual Coffee Date the other day, I didn't get one item on my to-do list.
After last week's work craziness, I'm happy to sit down for a cup of #VirtualCoffee and catch up #ontheblog.http://bit.ly/HHLVirtualCoffee121615
Posted by High-Heeled Love on Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The weather is supposed to be cold, this weekend so it seems like a good time to stay in to bake cookies and decorate anyway.

I confess...

Part of getting the house holiday ready has been putting some holiday scents in the house. My ePantry subscription has definitely come in handy because Mrs. Meyers is one of my favorite brands, and I can have the limited edition holiday scent delivered right to my door at a discount.


ePantry is a flexible subscription site offering all-natural household cleaning and personal care products. They are committed to showing people that non-toxic products are cheaper, and work better than their conventional counterparts. If you'd like to try to their service, you can receive a $10 credit toward your first shipment via my referral link.

I confess...

I am currently working on my first email newsletter!

Starting a newsletter is something I have wanted to do for a while, and it's going to happen this month. The focus this month will be on goal setting for the new year and have a free printable.

If you want to sign up, you can do so here: Friends of High-Heeled Love

Also, tell me what you'd like to see from High-Heeled Love in 2016.

Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.







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Wednesday, December 16

Good morning, loves!

I am so happy to have a few minutes to sit down and have a cup of virtual coffee and catch up with you this morning.

Work Accomplishments, Holiday Parades & Christmas Eve Dinner [Virtual Coffee Date at High-Heeled Love]

I have survived the first big deadline of open enrollment, though I am still sick. The weather is supposed to change from 70s to 20s this weekend, so I'm my sinuses will re-group on their efforts to put me in the ground.

Despite feeling cruddy, I was cranking out the business at work. I was bragging to my Mister yesterday about the sales goals I had met for myself; I don't think it's appropriate to share on the blog, but I'm pretty pleased with the production.

Work Accomplishments, Holiday Parades & Christmas Eve Dinner [Virtual Coffee Date at High-Heeled Love]
Work Accomplishments, Holiday Parades & Christmas Eve Dinner [Virtual Coffee Date at High-Heeled Love]

Another accomplishment that happened over the weekend our neighborhood participating in the local Christmas parade for the first time ever. While getting the float set up required a lot of effort, the project was a lot more fun than I expected it to be.

Between work, sickness and parade, things haven't been getting done around the house the way I'd like them to be. Laundry and grocery shopping must happen this evening. Wednesday in Anti-Procrastination Day.

Work Accomplishments, Holiday Parades & Christmas Eve Dinner [Virtual Coffee Date at High-Heeled Love]

The Mister and I agreed to host Christmas Eve dinner for his side of the family, so there is a lot of cleaning, decorating and baking to be done this weekend. Though I guess I should be glad that I've accomplished about 50 percent of my December goals.

I'm thinking about serving either spaghetti or lasagna with salad and garlic bread. Simple and filling. What do you think?

Work Accomplishments, Holiday Parades & Christmas Eve Dinner [Virtual Coffee Date at High-Heeled Love]

I suppose I should get moving; I'm headed to day class in jujitsu for the first time in about a month and then it will be back to work for me. Thanks for stopping by for a cup of coffee.

What's been happening in your home? What do you need to get accomplished today.





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Saturday, December 12

Disclosure: The post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from your purchases. Thank you for your support my blog.

Good morning, lovelies!

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

Grab button for FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE-button
<div class="FRIDAY-CONFESSIONAL-HIGH-HEELED-LOVE-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.high-heeledlove.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o621/highheeledlove/Blog%20Graphics/HighHeeledLove_zps6db62c81.jpg" alt="FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE" width="200" height="256" /> </a> </div>

I confess...

I clearly missed Friday Confessional yesterday. I was crazy at work AND I'm sick. This isn't really a surprise if you've been reading High-Heeled Love for a while. The last few years, I have consistently gotten sick right at the end of major enrollments periods without fail.

I know it's due to stress and working too much. The problem is that I don't see how it can be avoided since I have to take care of these clients during these enrollment periods. Maybe (hopefully) I'll be at  a point where I can hire help next year to alleviate some of the pressure.


Luckily, I have sweet pups who give me lots of cuddle time to help me feel better.

I confess...

Since I know that a lot of me getting sick has to do with me not taking care of myself,  taking steps to improve self-care.


Right now, I'm reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine and working through her steps to help find more margin in life. I'm also following along with Amiyrah Martin's book club discussion on the book on Periscope.


I confess...

My Mister is awesome. Last night he made turkey noodle soup from scratch because he knew soup would make me feel better. It was pretty awesome to use homemade stock and have all the ingredients in the fridge or freezer to make such a hearty meal when it's needed.

I confess...

I cannot believe that this little is having his third birthday party today. I feel like we were just in the hospital waiting on him to arrive.


The party theme is ninja turtles, and I have to run out for one more piece to his gift this morning. I remember playing ninja turtle back when I was a kid; when did I turn into an adult?


Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.







Shutterfly - Holiday 2015

SHUTTERFLY FLASH SALE: Save 30% off all orders or 40% off orders of $99+ using the code 40SWDEC at checkout
Offer expires 12/13/2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 30% off orders or 40% off orders of $99 or more using the code 40SWDEC at checkout. Merchandise must total $99 or more before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for the 40% off promotion to apply. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, gift certificates and personalized postage stamps. Offer is only valid on Tinyprints.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.
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Wednesday, December 9

Hello, fellow winos!

Welcome to Wino Wednesday! This is a monthly linky party where we discuss any and all things wine-related. Let me cover the ground rules for the party:

  1. Grab the Wino Wednesday party and slap it on your post.
  2. Link a wine-related post to the linky party.
  3. Make some new friends over a glass of vino.
  4. Mark your calendar to join me for Wino Wednesday on the second Wednesday of each month.

Grab button for WINO WEDNESDAY at HIGH-HEELED LOVE-button
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Easy peezy. Now on to the wine.

I am putting it out there; I NEED one of these GOVERRE spill-proof wine glasses in my stocking. Somebody please call Santa and let him know.

Also on my wish list is some wine ice cream. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Wine Ice Cream from Vine Pair [Wino Wednesday at High-Heeled Love]


Need some more gift ideas for the wino in your life? Don't worry, Buzzfeed has 25 Gift for the Wine Lover.


Want to play along? Link your Wino Wednesday post below. Please comment after linking.


P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you might want to consider following my Wino Wednesday board on Pinterest. We'll see you at the next Wino Wednesday, which is the second Wednesday of each month.





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Friday, December 4

Good morning, lovelies!

Confession is good for the soul, so grab the button and let it all out. You'll feel better when you're finished.

Grab button for FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE-button
<div class="FRIDAY-CONFESSIONAL-HIGH-HEELED-LOVE-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.high-heeledlove.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o621/highheeledlove/Blog%20Graphics/HighHeeledLove_zps6db62c81.jpg" alt="FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE" width="200" height="256" /> </a> </div>

I confess...

The Christmas lights have made their appearance at our house. LED lights and their globes of color on the wall make me happy.



I confess...

I have plans to spend tomorrow afternoon baking Christmas cookies, and I'm looking for new recipe ideas. So far, I have only a couple new ideas; won't you help me out?
I'm baking Christmas cookies this weekend. What's your favorite holiday cookie?
Posted by High-Heeled Love on Thursday, December 3, 2015

I confess...

I believe I have also jump-started the Mister's holiday spirit. This morning I woke up to find that he was playing Indie Christmas on Spotify.

I confess...

Tomorrow is our last Brown Box Veggies day ever. The company is being closed after an owner's husband had a stroke last month. Obviously, we want them to focus on his recovery, but I sure am going to miss the side gig and all the fresh produce.


I confess...

I usually try to set my Fridays up so that I can leave a little early, but today I have a full schedule. It's definitely crunch time with Medicare enrollment ending on Monday and the first Open Enrollment coming the week after that.

This is why I keep food and hot tea in my office and why I schedule pizza night on Fridays!



Want to play along? Grab the button and link your Friday Confessional below. Please comment after linking.







Warby Parker Winter 2015 Collection
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Thursday, December 3

Okay, so here's the deal.

Last month, we graduated Financial Peace University. The Mister and I have committed to a written budget, and we're paying cash for our lifestyle. If we don't have the money, we don't buy, right? Right.

The problem is that we sat down on Monday for our budget committee meeting to write out December's budget. Guess how much cash we have to pay for Christmas?

$43.00

In previous years, that wouldn't even cover my wine.

But we've drawn the line, and the credit cards have been cut up. So what's a gal to do? Here's the plan to have a very modest holiday season in which we only pay cash.
Holiday Savings: Our First Christmas on a Budget

Repurpose

We don't usually have family to our house for Christmas, so I don't do a ton of decorating. I do like to put a few things out though, and this year, I really wanted to display the holiday cards we receive.

Enter this ladder that was thrown out down the street as part of a broken bunk bed. If the weather cooperates, I may throw some milk paint on it, but I think it's an unexpected way to to be festive.

Holiday Savings: Our First Christmas on a Budget

Look around your house, and see what you already have that can be repurposed with a little holiday shine. Ornaments, lights and greenery in unexpected places can bring a little holiday magic to your home without any money spent.

Get Crafty 

I learned how to crochet nearly 25 years ago so it's natural that I hook up a few gifts each year. This year we'll be giving many more homemade gifts, so I'm getting crafty on these late winter nights.

Holiday Savings: Our First Christmas on a Budget

The Mister is also planning on using his carpentry skills to create some handcrafted gifts with some wood we've been storing.

Use Gift Cards

This might sounds like it's working against the budget, but I'm talking about gift cards I already have. Right now, I have several to Anthropologie that I've never used. I'm betting that there are quite a few gifts hiding in their sale section.

Amazon gift cards are a great idea to use for gift purchase as well. You can buy just about anything through Amazon.

Bake

I'm baking Christmas cookies anyway; why not double the recipe? They make great hostess gifts. Another favorite hostess gift from our kitchen is a loaf of fresh banana bread. I'm thinking about trying my hand at a couple pie recipes this year.

Holiday Savings: Our First Christmas on a Budget

Another home baked gift I want to try my hand at this year is homemade dog treats for our fur babies.

Re-Gift

I'm thinking alcohol as hostess gifts again. I don't like to show up to a party without something in hand. This time of year, I get a lot of wine as gifts, and while I like wine (do host a monthly linky about it), I like to give it as well.

Holiday Savings: Our First Christmas on a Budget

Give Time

It might be a couple evenings worth of babysitting or maybe an afternoon helping clean a garage, but giving of time doesn't cost money. I offered my mother-in-law an afternoon in her home office, which she's been wanting to re-organize for years.

What are your tips for reducing holiday costs? Do you make gifts or bake them?




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Wednesday, December 2

Y'all! I feel like I never have time to just sit down and write a blog post anymore.

I know that this happens every year and that I just need to give myself grace since this is such a busy time of year for me at work. But still.

I just did a Periscope broadcast about productivity, and believe me I'm productive at work right now, but I feel like a bit of a fraud since I haven't accomplished any personal goals lately.

Anyway, I'm going to forgive myself and look forward to December. Here are my goals for the month.

December Goals [Monthly Goals at High-Heeled Love]

As you can see, these goals are focused on enjoying the holiday season. I have plenty of time to work, but I need to spend more time enjoying life. What are your goals for the month?

Monthly Goals at My So-Called Chaos

I'm linking up with My So-Called Chaos and A Peek in Karen's World for the Monthly Goals party. Click the button to link up and join the fun.






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