Sunday, December 21, 2014


Hi everyone,

How are you? I've got a little bit of a cold, which has made working this crazy retail season a little challenging. I am resting a lot and drinking lots of fluids.  Thankfully, I'm making it so far :)

Have you noticed that gas prices have been dropping in your area? I have. I haven't been keeping track of prices, but I think gas is less than $3 a gallon in my area.  I was at exactly a half tank of gas.  So I drove to Whole Foods, bought a Sunday paper and got $20 cash back to fill up the tank...and based on my previous experience at the gas station, I "knew" that $20 wouldn't fill it up. Well, I guess there's a first time for everything.  Not only was the $20 more than enough. It only cost me $17 to fill up a half-tank and get it above the "full" line.

Here's a pic of me looking across the street at another gas station and thinking, I really am glad to have money to put gas in the car.  Now I have $3 dollars left over. What will I do with it? I will put it into my cash envelope and specifically the one marked for "gasoline" I'll have a fund ready to go for the next time I need to fill up.

After work, I needed to do a little bit of shopping. One thing I always ask myself lately is 1)Do I really need it? 2) Is there something I have at home that can fulfill the "need" that I have until I can afford to pay for the item I want?  Well, I had two things on my list - new heavy duty black socks to wear while I"m at work and a contour make-up brush. 

I decided the contour make-up brush could wait, because I have another brush that can serve the same purpose. However, I really needed the socks. They seem to get lost all on their own.  I ended up buying a set of 6 pairs of Gold Toe heavy duty cotton black socks. They are guys socks, but I love them because they're so comfortable. It's the perfect thing to put on my feet when I'm spending all day on the sales floor at work. It makes being on my feet so much easier. When my feet are comfortable, I can work better :)

This is what I ended up purchasing last night after work.

I needed the socks and I knew that I'd get my 20% employee discount. What I forgot about is that they were also eligible with a 20% off coupon. The socks originally cost $20 for  set of six. With taxes it would have cost $21.50. When I got to the register, the associate reminded me that I could use a coupon. That was a really nice surprise. That's $4 extra dollars that I saved....that translates to eggs, bread, or some coffee or a gallon of gas...or something like with the coupon and my employee discount, it ended up only costing me $13.76 with tax.

That represents a savings of 36% off of the original price. I'm happy with that.  I'm very happy with that :) :) 

What are some things that you've saved money on lately that brought a smile to your face? 

Oh, after work, I went for an ocean drive with my father. I was wiped out after a super busy sales day. It was a beautiful evening and it was still just light enough to see some things. I loved driving past Old Fisherman's Wharf because the lights from the buildings were dancing off the surface of the water...just beautiful :)

I've got three more work days before Christmas and then things will slow down just a bit before New Year's Day :) :) :) 

I plan on going out for coffee and a visit to Asilomar State Beach on Christmas day. What about you all? If you celebrate Christmas or some other holidays, what plans do you have?

I pray that you will all have a very Happy Holidays!!!!  That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.

Love and hugs,  Heather :) :) :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Hi everyone :) :) :)

How are you tonight? I was going to wait until Monday to share this. Then I decided to post this tonight. I work in retail and tomorrow is going to be a very L-O-N-G day.  I'll be working for a full 9 hours.  

One of the things that I'll be ressurecting again are my "It makes "cents" to me Friday" posts.  One of my BIG goals is to be completely and 100% debt free.  So I'll probably be blogging about that at some point. However, I'll also be talking about how I live as a single person on a very tight budget, how I get by etc...and it's mostly to keep myself accoutable by making it public....but hopefully it'll encourage you all, too. No matter what your financial situation is, there is always something you can do, even if it's just one small step. The point is that you are trying :) :) :) At least, that's how I look at it right now.

I'll be sharing links to various blogs that I follow that have encouraged me in my debt-free journey and learning how to manage my time and resources better.

One thing that I am learning to do is use a cash envelope system for various spending categories.  It's something I first heard about when I read Dave Ramsey's book "The Total Money Makeover" and "Financial Peace University" You can click on the link here to visit his website.  He's pretty hard core with his financial advice, BUT it's all with the goal to give you financial freedom....and so I find it very encouraging for me. Plus, I love listening to all the testimonials of people who've become debt free. It encourages me that it's possible for me to achieve the same goal.

Here's a photo of the cash envelope wallet that I got when I took a Financial Peace University Class last April. The blue one came in my kit. The burgundy one was gifted to me by my aunt. 

The cash envelopes always include a little info on how to use them.  What's great is that you can choose the categories you want to create and I find the idea of budget for various categories is so smart. It will hopefully keep you from overspending.

Plus, it includes a little spending log where you can record every time you spend money from a certain category. The idea being that you'll always know what you have available and once the money is gone, you don't spend anymore in that area, until you have a chance to put more money back into that particular spending category.

Now there's a really cool blog/Facebook page that I follow called "A Time for Everything" You can click here to find Melissa's page on Facebook.

She makes some amazing cash divider wallets that are compatible with the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system. They're super functional and super cute.  I purchased her "carry it all" divider wallet. I waited an entire year before I purchased mine last January.  Click here for a description of what this wallet does. 

This is what my wallet looks like.  Melissa offers different, really fun and beautiful fabric pattern combinations.

I also purchased the downloadable PDF file to print out my own spending logs to go inside my wallet.  It was only a few dollars and so worth it. I just printed out some color sheets and I've got a manilla envelope that I'll paste it on before I put them into my wallet. I'll save that little project for another blog post.

This wallet comes with two divider sections, a place to put coins and it also holds my checkbook, too :) :) I've had this wallet for quite some time and never used it much until recently. So it's a discipline, for sure, but it's one that I'm going to get into the regular habit of doing everyday.

The reason is because I've got a super tight budget.  so if I don't designate different spending categories, I won't be able to afford anything. I also just recently started a new job position at work that also included a raise. That's been a huge blessing, but I still want to make it a point to live within my means.  It's been difficult, but oh so worth it.  

I'm just doing the best I can to manage my money in a biblical way, while recognizing that I need to give myself a lot of grace and forgiveness and extend that to others who are dealing with struggles in this area.  I know that I have my own financial struggles of 1) how will I pay off my student loans once and for all 2) and still manage to help my dad and 3) find a place for us to live in September 2015. 

So that's where I guess an element of faith and trust steps in. I'm doing my best with what I have right now to manage my money God's way.  At the same time, I recognize that I'm having to trust God to provide in those areas when the time comes, and not worry about it, because that's in the future and all I can do is concern myself with today. Believe me, God gives us enough grace for this day. Then tomorrow, He'll give us the grace we need to get through tomorrow, including with budgeting struggles and challenges :) :) :)  There's more I could say about this, but it's late on a Sunday night and I'm mega tired :) :)

Well, I guess that's good enough for now. I'll be talking more about this in the future. I just wanted to introduce you to my cool fancy functional cash divider wallet :) :) :)

I'm still trying to figure out what spending categories I want to use my cash envelope wallet for specifically.  One thing I have to budget for is haircuts and getting my hair colored. I don't do either very often because of the expense, but it's still something I need. So that's one category that I budget for. I also budget for gas for my car.

Do you use a cash enevelope system or some other sort of budgeting system? If yes, what categories do you budget for?  I'd love to know what you do.

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.  

Love and hugs,  Heather :) :) :)     

Friday, December 12, 2014


Hi everyone,

It feels good to be back again. I've been meaning to get a blog post up for awhile now and then life happened and I'd keep pushing it to the back burner. Well, after this past week, I decided I need to get my creative juices flowing again and just go for it :) :) I'm so sorry that I haven't posted anything in a long, long time !!!!

Here on the coast of California, we've been going through a super storm of sorts.  It was much worse in the San Francisco Bay area then it was here in Monterey, but we were prepared and well-informed via weather services on Facebook, radio, tv etc.

Today was my day off from work this week and I decided I wanted to have some crafty  fun.  Well, I didn't actually start a project, but I did find a few craft items that I was intentionally looking for and whole bunch of stuff that I hand't planned on. You know how it goes. There's hidden craft stashes everywhere in my house...LOL :) :) :)

Below is a photo of just a small fraction of what I found. I just threw it on the futon couch and took a photo. Tonight, I'll sort through it all and see what I what I can make out of all this stuff.

What prompted me to search for some craft items was my "Lace in the Attic" book. It's a whole book full of knitted Victorian lace edgings. I don't think the book is available in print anymore. My copy was purchased at a used book store years ago. Then I found all of this other stuff, including a finished pink lace edging that I had knit....probably to be used in a project for a shelf liner? I don't even remember now.  It would make a cute edging for a pillow case or something.

As I was going through my closet looking for some things, I decided to also go through my grandmother's old wooden sewing box.  It was something that I inherited after she passed away. One thing I remember using when I was a young girl, was this crimson red velvet pin cushion that her mother (my great-grandmother) had made using an old canning jar rim and ring. 

I took all the straight pins, and other things off of it, cleaned it up and put everything back on it. 

 It was really dusty from not having been used in years. In fact, I think the last time it was actively used was before my grandmother passed away in the mid-1990s.  Other than a little rust around the lower edge, it's still in great shape.  I always loved this pincushion and I have it on display on top of the wooden sewing box. 

I've always wanted to make my own and I will someday. However, I noticed that if it's made from an old canning jar rim, then maybe I have a glass Mason jar that would fit it?  Keep in mind, I have no idea just how old this pincushion is. I think my great-grandmother made it before my father was born, but I'm not entirely sure about that one.

In any case, I raided one of the cabinets in the kitchen, grabbed an empty wide-mouth glass Ball jar and voila, instant Mason jar/pin cushion cute and it was free :) :) :)  The lid doesn't screw down all the way, but enough that it'll work for this project of mine.  I think it looks cute, don't you?

Here's another view of my glass Ball jar with my great-grandmother's pincushion sitting nicely on top.

That's my little craft project for the day. Oh wait, there is one other thing. You'll notice that my Ball jar pincushion is sitting on top of a white lacey curtain panel. I have two of those and they were purchased from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic line at Target.  They were originally curtain panels, but I haven't used them since I moved back to the Monterey Bay peninsula. 

I am debating about what I can make with them. Here's a close up of the beautiful lacey edging. Any ideas?

I couldn't bear to part with them because they're so lovely. They are a little faded and yellow with age, but I think with some loving care in the washing machine, they'll bounce back. 

That is the news from the ocean shores of a very rainy California coast today.  Please feel free to "visit" and leave a comment here on my page. I really do enjoy hearing from all of you :)  Love and hugs,  Heather :) :) :)

P.S. Do any of you know how I can change my font, so it's cuter and looks more like someone handwrote instead of it being a plain generic font like the one I'm using now? It's been such a long time, since I put up a blog post, I don't remember how to change the font anymore.

Also, I'll be in the very slow process of overhauling my blog by myself, until I can afford a professional service. I already have a great business in mind for that.  So there will be some changes coming to my blog, too, including changing the blog name and the photo header :) :) :)