to move or not to move…

I had a bit of a scare last week and thought that I might have to move. My landlord required us to sign a new lease agreement since they are raising rent and my lease was with the old owner and not the property mgmt. company. Well the lease stated it was for 1 year and that I couldn’t have a pet. I freaked out, so I started looking at a few places and browsing Craigslist. Everything is ok, and it was a misunderstanding, so I can have my dog and am on a month-to-month lease. But I still kept looking, wondering if something better was out there. And I think I found it…

awesome backyard

I have wanted a backyard for a while now, where I can plant a garden, let the dog roam free, and enjoy al fresco dining. Well I spotted this place on Craigslist and had to go take a look. They are asking for more than what I’m paying now, plus a dog rent fee ($75, a bit high IMO). Since I looked at it on Friday I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I didn’t love it, but I don’t love the place I’m in right now either. So I figured I should start a pro/con list and see what wins out.

Pros to moving to duplex with a big backyard:

  • Big, fenced in backyard
  • Citrus trees
  • duplex style (only 1 connecting wall)
  • on 1 acre of land with about 5 other little houses
  • updated kitchen
  • patio furniture included
  • skylights in kitchen and bathroom makes it very bright
  • very private
  • w/t paid for
  • large, open garage
  • storage space
  • can move in immediately
  • close to freeway access (CA-78)
  • very quiet, country-like atmosphere
  • one neighbor has chickens and one has a pig (maybe the chicken neighbor will give me some eggs!)
  • did i mention the kick ass backyard
  • hilly area would be great for walking workouts
  • 15 min. to work (I’m 20 min. now)
  • cute landlord
  • comes with window coverings
  • washer and dryer (shared, but NOT coin-operated!)
  • plant a garden!

Cons to moving to this house

  • $170 more than I’m paying now
  • about 7 miles to the beach (I’m <1 mile from it now)
  • smaller bedroom
  • not as much cabinet space in kitchen
  • a neighbor smokes (have the same problem now)
  • tile floor in kitchen/living area, hand poured painted concrete in bedroom (would have preferred hardwood, at least some carpet in bedroom. will need area rugs=extra expense)
  • living area is a little small
  • Neighbor to the back has what looks like a junkyard for his backyard, like 3 broken down and stripped cars
  • no disposal or dishwasher (I don’t have a dishwasher now, so that’s not a dealbreaker)
  • no A/C (don’t have this now either)
  • small bathroom, no counter space

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pros to staying in current place

  • Near the beach
  • cheaper, can save more money to pay off debt
  • convenient to stores and nightlife
  • easy access to I-5
  • 20 min. drive to work
  • lots of storage
  • large kitchen
  • open floor plan, bigger in square footage
  • large bathroom
  • feel safe in area
  • disposal
  • w/t paid for
  • laundry room on-site

Cons to staying

  • smoking neighbor
  • freeway noise
  • outer door leads into bedroom
  • berber carpet (it’s good, just needs a deep cleaning)
  • no yard (and no citrus trees!)
  • white walls
  • coin-operated laundry room

So, I’ve made my decision…I’m NOT moving. As much as there are so many pros, the major con is the cost. I just do not have the extra $170 a month to move to this place. And while I did work the numbers and could make it work, I am reminded of what Dave Ramsey says: “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.” I have a lot of debt that I just started working to pay off. And if I put that extra money to my debt, I will pay it off that much faster. I figure that once I pay my debts, I can search for a new place, one that has all the items on my list that I’ve always wanted (dishwasher, A/C, yard, etc.). I know that God will always provide, and right now I have everything I need in my current place.

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halloween

I was kind of the grinch this year for Halloween. My office has department contests, and my dept. did Alice in Wonderland. I kept thinking about what role I wanted to play, but each required spending money on a costume. So I said screw it, I’m not going to participate. And all was good. I wore orange and black, so at least I was in the spirit of Halloween. Plus I had a conference call at the time the judges came through to vote on our department. But I had to share this fantastic picture of my co-workers in costume:

 

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

We only got 3rd place, what a bummer. Some of the people put in a lot of time and effort for it. Our customer service dept. won with a Wild Wild West theme. I was really impressed with them, they had a saloon and brothel, lol!

And just so everyone knows, I’m not always a grinch on Halloween. Last year, we did a pirate theme for the department, and I was a pirate wench, complete with blonde wig! (We got second last year.) And the year before that we did In-N-Out burgers. We even had real burgers! A few pics from last year…

Pirate's Cove

Argh!

Pirate wench and Cher

friends

sexy witch and the pirate wench

YouTube video

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

10 things…

I learned this week:

1. Using a cash-only system for my daily necessities (food, toiletries, clothes, entertainment, and household goods) is going to pay off.

2. I can stand in front of the entire congregation and reaffirm my commitment to the Lord.

3. I can share with my small group and not be judged or worry about what they are thinking.

4. I’m the only one who felt bad about not participating in the Halloween craze at work this year. No one else really cared or was judging me that I didn’t participate.

5. My Wii Fit does still work, even though it’s been 187 days since I used it.

6. I am committed to getting out of debt by not living beyond my means, by saying no to things I really want, and by knowing the difference between a want and a need.

7. I am strong enough to finish PHIT class (circuit training/boot camp style class).

8. I am not strong enough to say no to the chocolate and candy around the office, nor am I strong enough to avoid the ice cream aisle at the grocery.

9. I can go to the dentist, get a crown put on, and not feel any pain the next day (except for what my pocketbook is feeling).

10. Awkward conversations with guys can make you laugh at yourself.

 

 

still thinking of a title

I’ve done a lot of thinking this week. Just random things, things of importance and non-importance, things I know I should have written down but didn’t, things I know I should take action on and still haven’t, and things that make you go hmmm (oh yes, C & C Music Factory). And with a lot of thinking, there came a lot of reading first. Reading always leads me to think, unless of course it was a silly chick lit book, then I just feel a few brain cells die, but they were so worth it. So what have I been reading you ask? I’ve been reading blogs, lots and lots of blogs! I swear my Google Reader is going berzerk with all the posts that I have starred to come back and read later. Had I known the world I was entering when I started this blog adventure, well I would have thought I was crazy. But I am so glad I have found so many wonderful blogs. Everything I have read is so well-written and inspires me to take better care of myself, to be a better friend, to be a better Christian, to be a better sister and daughter, and even to be a better blogger. The blogs I read have so many different topics, from the weight-loss journey, to DIY home projects, to budgeting sites, to coupon sites, to inspirational, to foodie, to whatever. (And I can’t believe I’ve avoided sports blogs! I’m an avid sports fan, so maybe I should start looking into some good ones to read. Like I need more to clog up my Google Reader.) The only downside to reading all these blogs is that I have little time to work on my own.

When I started this blog, I didn’t really put any pressure on myself, it was just going to be something I wanted to do and have it be my own (and that includes changing my template/header thing every other week!). I had no expectations. I wanted to be able to write, and I didn’t really care if anyone read my rambling thoughts. I figured I would evolve as a blogger, and if I wanted to get people to read it, well I’d have to let people know I have a blog! I have told 1 friend that I have a blog, and I don’t even know if she’s read it yet. I’m certainly not going to tell my family, particularly my dad, since he’ll just want to rehash everything I’ve written or said on here when we do our weekly phone call. Is it weird that I don’t want my offline friends or my family to read this? Am I not showing my true self to my friends if I don’t want them to read this? I am an extreme introvert, so the energy does get sucked out of me when I have to engage with people a lot. I am exhausted after having to deal with people at work all day, and just need a break. With blogging, I don’t have to be around people, I can just be. I wonder if this blogging is giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself, to be able to share more with people out in the real world. (I have a tough outer shell, that I know is hard to crack and reveal.)  It certainly has been interesting so far.

I know I don’t want much out of this blog, just a forum to be who I am. But I so admire those who make a living writing their blog, contributing to other blogs and websites, having sponsors, hosting giveaways and contests, publishing books, etc. I know most of the blogs I read are based on one’s passion, whether it be for healthy living, cooking, writing, interior decorating, saving money, etc. and am so glad that there are opportunities out there for those who share their passions with the rest of us. You go girls!

These are just a few things that I’ve been thinking about this week, I finally put them down in writing! I want to thank all of those bloggers whose blogs I read for being so inspirational in many facets of my life. There are so many, but I will try to list them all eventually. I guess that’s what the blogroll to the right is for :). (Those listed now were the very first ones that I started reading over the summer.)

new place to write

Over the weekend, I finally got around to clearing off my desk. My desk has been buried under a bunch of papers and other crap for over 2 years! I finished my MBA in June of 2008, and that was really the last time I probably used my laptop at my desk. My laptop has been living on my coffee table or my sofa! See, my desk is in my bedroom, where I have no TV. It was perfect for when I was getting my MBA, no TV to distract. But after that, I didn’t really care if the TV was on, since I was just browsing the web or e-mailing or posting to Facebook. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve wanted to get back to writing at my desk, and maybe one day have a profound or inspiring post, just like all the bloggers that I read and follow. And all because I’m sitting at a desk, ha ha! So while I still have a lot of work to do to get my desk back in order, I have 2 bags of stuff that I need to find a home for within my small desk, I am excited to be back at my desk and do some “real writing”.

Not very exciting or inspiring, but I’ll get there with it. I’d love to get a new desk (one that isn’t from Ikea), but the funds are low and the bills are high. It is functional, and that’s all I really need right now.

{And yes, that is the super pack of toilet paper from Costco under the desk. I don’t have room for it anywhere else!}

farmer’s market sunday!

I love going to farmer’s markets, and San Diego is definitely not short on any. I usually hit the Carlsbad one on Saturday afternoons since I can walk the dog there. It’s not a very big market, probably about 10-15 tents, but it has 3-4 organic farmers there and I get tomatoes, red peppers, avocados, lemons, limes, etc. There is usually a wonderful flower stand and I get cheap bouquets for $3-5 dollars. There is a fish tent as well, where they catch the fish in the morning, put it on ice, and get it to the farmers market. It is good stuff!

Today, I went with several friends to the Cedros Avenue Farmer’s Market in Solana Beach. We started with mimosas at one of the girl’s houses, and waited for the rain to stop misting. It was not a postcard perfect day near the coast! We made our way to Cedros Avenue, which is known as a “design district” with lots of home furnishings, interior decorators, photographers, hair salons, spas, boutiques, cafe’s, etc. along the street. It also has the famous Belly Up Tavern, which has played host to a variety of awesome musicians. The Farmer’s Market was at the opposite end of where we entered the “avenue,” but we didn’t mind doing some window-shopping along the way.

This farmer’s market was about twice the size of Carlsbad! It had so many wonderful fruit and veggie stands, bread tents, food tents, cheese tents, jewelry, etc. I could have spent so much time there. They also had the flower stands, which I thought was more expensive than Carlsbad! I also found some of the food stands to be a bit more expensive, but everything is local, so I wasn’t going to complain about having to spend 50 cents or a dollar more. So here’s what I discovered at the Cedros Avenue Farmer’s Market…

 

gorgeous Gerber daisies

 

 

ornamental pepper plant

 

 

mini pumpkins on a stick (i have no idea what the real name is for these but they are so cool)

 

 

grapes

 

 

pluots (my new favorite fruit!)

 

 

lots of potatoes

 

 

the basil smelled wonderful

 

 

squash

 

 

lots of heirloom tomatoes!

 

 

heirloom tomatoes

 

 

bread, check out those cinnamon rolls

 

 

to die for toll house chocolate chip cookies

 

 

bread & cie had a stand with wondrous breads

 

 

variety of pesto

 

While I wanted to come home with EVERYTHING…I really wasn’t in need of much, so I picked up only these…

 

 

my heirloom tomatoes, can't wait to eat them!

 

While these were pricey ($5/lb, yikes!), they are so worth it. They are a special treat, and I can’t wait to eat them with some fresh mozzarella and balsamic and basil.

After today, I’m thinking that I might have to check out some of the other markets around San Diego. I hear La Jolla has a great one. The main thing about farmers’ markets is to go with a list and budget, or you may buy everything in sight!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get out and enjoy Farmers’ Markets in your city!

monday is over, phew!

Monday is just about over, woohoo! After an eventful weekend, I really could have used another day off!

First, I went to Del Mar to The Gourmet Experience on Saturday and met Jasmine from EatMoveWrite.com. Jasmine is an awesome writer so I will refer to her summary here, complete with pictures. My ramblin’ recap: I expected a lot more out of this event. There were some food tastings at the booths, but they were miniscule bites and many I would not consider gourmet. I mean, granola bars, come on, I don’t consider those gourmet food. I know, they weren’t your typical granola bars, and they were good, but I was still a bit disappointed. However, I did enjoy the “Spirit Pavilion,” which was set up with wine tastings, beer tastings, brandy tasting, cocktail tasting (made with all-natural mixers), and tequila tastings! The wine was just so-so, but the beer was awesome. Firestone Walker DBA beer was excellent, as was the Trumer Pilsner. Refine is a company that has mixers that are all-natural and have no sugar or calories! And they weren’t that bad. I tried the mojito one, and they also have margarita and cosmo mixes. (And yes, they did have alcohol in them.) I did not try the tequila as I’m not a tequila fan, and the line for brandy was too long. The event also had cooking demos, and I wish I had planned my day better and stuck around for more of those. But I did get to try Brian Malarkey‘s shrimp and grits. First time I ever had grits, and they were good! All in all, it was an ok event. I think this was the first year for it, and I hope that it gets better and bigger next year. Not sure if I’ll pay the money for it, but it was a good day out. (And like Jasmine, I did not like paying $9 for parking, ack!)

I had to leave a bit early from Del Mar, and headed home and settled into my sofa with my computer on ESPN3.com to watch my beloved Miami RedHawks play in the Victory Bell game versus our rival Cincinnati. I really had a good feeling about the game, thinking we would be competitive, and might escape with the W. Well, within about 25 seconds of the start of the game, we were already down 7-0. Not a way you want to start a game. By the end of the 1st quarter, we were down 28-0 and never recovered. Bah! We ended up losing 45-3, and I still can’t believe it. The team had shown so much improvement over last year, tripling the number of wins already (that wasn’t hard to do, we only won 1 game last year!) and playing Florida close. Oh well, one consolation is that UC is not in our conference, and we are UNDEFEATED in the MAC. There is still hope of a bowl game :).

Sunday was an amazing day. I have been attending a church in Solana Beach for several months, and have really felt at home there. The New Member class was yesterday, so I went and got to give my testimony of my reaffirmation of faith. And I am now a member of a wonderful church. I had strayed, but never too far, from having faith in the Lord, and know that he guided me to this church for me to join. I have become involved in the church with tutoring at the after-school program, participating in Community Serve Day, and getting involved in a small group. I am just so excited about what my next steps are on this path that God has created for me.

After church, I went shopping! I had a Nordstrom gift certificate to use up by the 15th, and had run out of some makeup, so that’s what I got. Nothing too exciting. Although I did check out the shoes, particularly the Stuart Weitzman’s. Oh Stewie, how I love your shoes and the to-die-for red and wonderful patterns.

And to end the weekend, I made chocolate chip cookies! I even made some for anyone who has stumbled on my rambling post…

 

golden brown, mmm, oh so good

To negate the effects of these cookies (and the cookie dough!) I ate, I participated in a PHIT class that my company offers. It is 45 minutes of circuit training during the lunch hour. Oh boy, was it tough, but I did it, burned off over 450 calories, and will live to see another day. Back at it on Weds. I’m so lucky my company offers this opportunity, and for free as long as I go to 75% of the classes over the next 12 weeks. It is 3 days a week, so I can miss 9 total, but I don’t plan on missing too many!

I am feeling so much better these days now that I have started to work out, and eat right most of the time. Just have to remember these good days if I ever retreat back into being a lazy couch bum. And hopefully the scale and the tape measure will show some decreased numbers over the next few weeks! I really need to see some progress to keep motivated.

That’s all, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling, nonsensical post ;).

Currently watching: House Hunters