Friday, November 15, 2013


Hi everyone,

How are you today? How has your week been?  My week has been crazy and good and everything in between.  We're starting to get into the "BUSY" season at work. It'll stay busy until the end of the year.

I very rarely spend money on new clothes because I am on a really limited budget, so it's not worked into my budget, even when I really could use some new clothes. However, today was payday, and I decied that some new shirts for work were really needed. My goal is to have enough work clothes in my closet, that I could have one new outfit to wear every day of the week for 7 days, so that I don't have to wash the same thing over and over again.

I happened to be working in a department today that sells Ralph Lauren clothes for women. So I took a look at some basic long-sleeve tops. I ended up purchasing two black and one dark gray top.

Now listen to how I saved some serious "cha-ching" aka money, on the tops that I purchased today.  Most employees at work have a store credit card that they use.  We are required to have one in order to get the employee discount. However, there is also the option of having a prepaid store card. That's the one that I took, since I MUST put money on it FIRST before I can use it. 

So I happened to be looking at these tops, because I've purchased Ralph Lauren tops in the past on clearance and I've always had good luck with them. They also wear really well in the wash and still look good. so I know it would be a good deal, even if they were full price.

I saw these tops.  They are normally $32.98 each. However, they had a clearance tag price of $29.99 each.  When I checked the final price at the register, they were ringing up at $24.99 each. That's great !!! There was also a "use your card" discount of 20% on sale and clearance.

So I used my prepaid card and got 20% of the current clearance price. That dropped the cost of my tops to $19.99 each at the register.

So with all three tops together plus 7.5% sales tax, my total came to $64.47..

But wait, it gets so much BETTER.  Since I am an employee, I also get an additional employee discount of 20%. So that will bring my overall total down to $51.58.

Before I go into how much of a percentage I actually saved, let me throw in a picture of the cute little pocket on the left arm of each of the tops.  I don't normally like pockets on the front of any top. This is small, subtle and on the side. So strictly from a style viewpoint, this is fantastic.

Okay, if I had paid regular full retail price for all three tops and 7.5% sales tax, this would have cost me exactly $106.36.

However, since they were on clearance, there was a 20% "use your card" discount and my 20% employee discount AND the fact that I paid cash on my card FIRST....well, now my 3 designer tops only cost me $51.58 with tax.

That means I saved a GRAND TOTAL of 52% off the original retail price with tax. I'm really proud of that.

Now my next goal is to start building my collection of work pants. I literally have one pair that I wash every day. In fact, I will wear one of my new tops to work tomorrow.

Next week, I'll share more about how I give every dollar a name. I get paid every week, which is really nice. It's making "giving every dollar a name" much easier.

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs to you all, Heather

Monday, November 11, 2013


Hi everyone,

Okay, so this post is four days late. I'm really sorry. Talk about a crazy last few days.  We're gearing up for the holiday season at work and it's already starting to tire me out. 

I hope all of you are doing well this week so far.

One of the things I LOVE to do is color my hair. I keep it pretty much my natural color with a hint of red in it for warmth.  That and I am starting to see just a few white hairs.  I've decided I don't want to go all white  until I'm at least 50 years old.

Coloring my hair at home is NOT an option, since I make such a big mess in the bathroom every single time. I also have some limited mobility in my right shoulder, so that is sometimes painful and not the easiest thing to work around when trying to apply color to my head.

I'd heard about henna hair color and thought I would give it a try.  There is a LUSH cosmetics store in Carmel that sells this wonderful, chemical-free henna.  I went for a color called "Caca Rouge"..yes, they used that word on purpose because when it's all mixed it up it looks like muddy runny stuff. It looks gross, but it works fabulous.

The salon I go to normally charges $65 for color application.  Here at my local LUSH cosmetics store they only charged about $28 for the henna.

I called the store ahead of time to make an appointment, just in case they were busy.  This particular henna is set with cocoa butter into hard blocks like this, but it melts down easily with warm/hot water.   When it's melted down, it sort of looks like this:

It does feel a little heavy on the head, especially after it starts to dry. However, once it is applied to the head, I looked a bit like a cave woman:

I also didn't have a blessed stitch of makeup on my face, not even moisturizer.  Henna takes a really long time to set.  Here I waited about 3 hours total before I washed it out.  Now I left for home as soon as the henna was applied to my head. I did wait a little bit while the lady who a pplied henna to my hair helped other customers. While waiting a took a couple photos of the store.  It's a beautiful store that is light, airy and just really lovely:

The store was small but so well decorated.  I didn't feel closed in.

After the henna had been drying in my hair for about three hours, it was time to wash it out. That took about 15 minutes, because it was caked on my hair and it's really, really grainy and gritty.  It took me awhile to wash all the henna out of my hair. I LOVE the color result.  I wanted to add back some of the red undertones in my natural hair color and this did that.  However, my white hairs are now carrot orange...but when blended in with the rest of my hair it looks great.  Next time, I'll probably try the LUSH "caca marron" henna. That's more of a reddish brown color.

The only real negative is the smell. It doesn't smell bad. It reminded me a bit of muddy wet grass while it was wet. Later, after I washed it out, the smell of my hair reminded me of patchouli spices.  Here is how my hair color turned out. It wasn't a dramatic color difference, but it did add a lot of vibrancy to my hair.

This is what my hair looks like from the back.  I deliberately stood in direct sunlight so that you'd be able to see the red tones a little bit better.  All in all, I'm very pleased about how my hair color turned out. I'll let you know if I try it again.

The associate at my local LUSH cosmetics store said that it fades out in about 4 weeks.

Have you ever tried henna hair color? Or do you use something else to color your hair? What do you do to keep up with hair color and save a little money at the same time? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Friday, November 8, 2013


UPDATE: Saturday - November 9th at 7:07 p.m.

HI everyone,
I'll do my Friday "cents" post tomorrow on Sunday. I worked today. It was 4 hours that turned into 5 because it was unusually crazy busy at work...but it was so stressful that it felt like 10 hours today and I'm just physically wiped out.

So I'll blog about the henna tomorrow. I got fabulous results with it and I can't wait to tell you about my experiences with that product :) :)

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :) :)

Hi everyone,

I'm actually going to do my usual Friday post tomorrow on Saturday.  I went and had henna hair color put on my hair this morning. It was quite the process but I saved a lot versus regular color in the salon.

I went to the LUSH cosmetics store in Carmel.

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow and have photos and everything :)

Have a great weekend everyone. That's the news from the ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs, Heather

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Hi everyone,

Oh, it has been quite the week. It's been rough, beautiful and just full of all sorts of interesting things. NONE of them were things I expected, but somehow I'm seeing beauty, joy and laughter through all of this :) :)

I was going to blog about a hat that I'm knitting for a friend's daughter, but I'll save that for another night.  Today was a rough day out on the sales floor and I just wanted to cry. So when work was over and done with, I met my father at Whole Foods and consoled myself with some fresh, made to order garlic fries...oh, boy was it ever tasty good... :) :)

My job is also full of many blessings and really interesting stories as I get to interact with people from the community.  I got to help a couple of my favorite customers. It was an old retired Philippino couple who've been married since God was a boy. The wife is retired military. The husband uses a walker and EVERY TIME I see them in the store they're always holding hands. ... So while the husband was sitting, I helped the wife. When they were finished, I walked over to the husband and helped stabilize his walker, so that he could stand up. The first thing he did was reach out for the walker with one hand and his wife's hand with the other How romantic is that In any case, I'm so glad God brought that couple my way tonight. They always bring a smile and laughter to my day This is just one of the many, many reasons I love my job and being able to interact with all sorts of people on a daily basis.

When I got home, my sweet dog was at the door to greet me. However, lately she's developed a habit for eating the leaves of this one little tree in our living room and now the tree has almost no leaves on it. I'm not sure how to get her to not eat the leaves...but every time I catch her eating them, she puts on the extra sorry puppy dog face as if she's saying "Who me? Lil' ole me?"  Any ideas on that? I'm totally clueless why my dog is eating the leaves
I did get a copy of the latest Mary Jane's Farm magazine in the mail. So this was just another blessing to the end of an otherwise rough day at work. This magazine is so much fun...and it's got everything that I love in it - farmgirl stuff, farmgirl of the heart, feminine, frilly, DIY etc ;) :)  Click here to visit their website.  It's all about organic, American living and so much other fun stuff. 
Oh and then to top it all off, there was a Billy Graham program on tv tonight. We don't have a t.v. anymore. So my father was watching it on-line and he asked me if I knew who Lacey Strum was. I had never heard of her before. So I looked her up and came across this beautiful music video called "Mercy Tree" that was featured on the program.
I don't normally cry with songs, but after this one I was just a mess of tears. It's a beautiful song and beautiful video. So maybe I needed to hear this tonight and be reminded that I (and ALL of us) are loved by the Author of Ultimate Love. 
Tomorrow I have the day off from work. So I'm going to the LUSH cosmetics store in Carmel to have henna applied to my hair. It's a natural hair dye alternative that will hopefully cover up a few of the gray hairs. In any case, I'll make sure to take some pics and let you know how it all turns out :)
That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Hi everyone :) :) :)

I hope you all had a great weekend. Have a beautiful week. I took this photo after church this afternoon. It's out in Pacific Grove.  It was really windy today, but the water was so very beautiful.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

If you'd like to visit me at my photography page on Facebook, just click here :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Hi everyone :) :)

I hope that you are all having a really great weekend so far. I worked this afternoon/evening. It was an AMAZING day out on the sales floor.

This is just a friendly PSA about Daylight Savings Time.  Early tomorrow morning, on Sunday - November 3rd at 3 a.m. local time, make sure to set your clocks back one hour. OR if you are anything like me and prefer NOT waking up at the crack o'midnight or shortly thereafter, set your clocks back one hour TONIGHT (Saturday - November 2nd) before you go to bed :)

That's the news from the ocean shores of California. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Friday, November 1, 2013


Hi Everyone :) :)

I hope you all had a really good week. My week was really busy. I had all these ideas for other blog posts that I wanted to write about this week and I just didn't get around to it. It's probably a good idea to start putting these things down on a calendar and writing a little bit here and a little bit there - as time allows.

I don't really have a blog post about saving money today BUT I am going to share a couple of things that I thought you'd find interesting.

The first is a link to a video from the Dave Ramsey website. Actually, I saw it posted on the Dave Ramsey page on Facebook.  Every so often they'll post really neat and inspirational stories of people who have gotten out of debt.  This is one that was some serious inspiration for me for a few reasons.  Here's the link below.  Watch the whole thing in its entirety:

The decision to be completely and totally 100% debt free is a choice that I have made for myself. It's a decision that will look different for everyone based on different circumstances etc. However, this video was really inspiring to me for so many reasons.

This is a young woman, who with her husband, perservered through some very difficult circumstances to reach a personal goal that they had set for themselves. People made fun of them. That didn't stop them.

What caused me to literally break down in tears was when I learned....well, I'm not going to spoil it. That's why I HIGHLY recommend you watch this whole video and then you'll know why it caused me to break down and cry.

What I carried away from this is that if you want something bad enough, you will find a way. God will make a way.  It may take me awhile to reach that goal, but with God ALL THINGS are possible.  Plus, I'm not going to let the objections of a few dictate my life or throw me off my goal.

I spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon with my very good friend A. from church. She's a mentor and good friend. We went went shopping at Costco and also ate lunch there. While there and on the drive home, we talked about all sorts of things including money etc and setting priorities while working my way out of debt etc.

My mind was so focused on paying bills that I was not eating while at work. Yes, I admit it and it was a very bad thing. So we talked about how paying bills are important but I must take care of my body first. So we brainstormed some really inexpensive things I could bring to work and eat on my lunch break. 

A. gave me a huge box of these fast noodle packages that her daughter brought back from Vietnam. They work just like the Top Ramen noodles that you buy in the store. So what a blessing and that's a HUGE savings right there.

Some super duper cheap things you could bring just to give you a protein boost while at work:

hard-boiled eggs

peanut butter

I'm living on a soda-pop can budget right now and these are two very easy and inexpensive things that I can do right now.

In any case, I'm really having to sit down and rethink my priorities. I'm not giving up on my goal of getting out of debt. What I am doing is just rethinking how I do things.

So I'll have more to add to this as time goes on. So keep checking back here and read my updates. As I think of things, I'll add it here and save  some for next Friday, too. It's been a huge day of revelations for me about finances, how to treat my body well etc.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Keep it kind, of course :) :) I love hearing from all of you :) Have a great weekend.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs to you all, Heather :)

UPDATE: November 1st at 8:40 p.m. PST
The same friend that I was talking about earlier, came back again later today and brought her daughter with her.  She had all this extra food that she just blessed my father and I with. I was so humbled and thankful.  I don't often talk about the difficulties in my life, because I would rather foster an attitude of gratitude and be thankful for the many, many blessings that God has given to me.

However, this practical act of love was amazing.  So now our cupboard and freezer is comletely stocked. There are lots of things that I can bring with me to work, to give me that needed protein boost during the day.

I find that for my body, protein is a necessity throughout the day to keep me going.  So it'll be interesting to see how things change at work, because I'm making sure that my body and health are a top priority first while still keeping my goal of paying down debt and saving money at the forefront.