Monday, November 23, 2015

List: Ten things I have to be grateful for.

Since I've started blogging I've avoided this typical Thanksgiving post.
I figured every blogger and their MAMA would be doing it, so it's best to avoid it.
See, I think about my readers.  I wouldn't want to bore you!
Then several things have happened recently that made me legitimately think about this. 
I've had to remind myself the past few months that despite the bad, I have lots to be thankful for.
I'll avoid the obvious answers like family, friends, and food in the fridge but know that I am!


Ten things I'm grateful for.

1.  A job.
Despite a college education and truck loads of experience, way too many people are jobless.
I am thankful for having a decent paying job that I don't dread going to each day.
I'd also like to add that I'm thankful for all of the little perks my job offers that I take for granted.

2.  Ivy League Learning Academy.
Leaving my baby girl in someone else's care all day is the hardest thing ever.  They make it easy.
I am thankful for a school that nourishes my baby's brain, entertains her, and keeps her safe.
I'd also like to add that the staff there is freaking amazing.  My daughter and myself LOVE them.

3.  Rachel Ray recipes.
The last thing I want to do when I get home is cook, and that's why I love her quick and easy recipes!
I am thankful for her easy meal ideas that keep me out of a cooking funk.
I'd also like to add that they are usually pretty healthy which makes my belly extra thankful!

4.  Target Cartwheel App.
This app has saved me TONS of money, and now with Christmas coming, it's vital.
I am thankful for Target having a different toy a day at 50% off so I can play Santa for less.
I'd also like to add that they created a widget so the bar code is on my phone even without internet!

5.  Microsoft Excel
This program makes every part of my life easier from groceries, budgets, and an address brook.
I am thankful that it's stopped me from overdrawing my checking account without using a calculator.
I'd also like to add that it's been a huge help in my impossible Financial Management class!

6.  My Father owning a dry cleaners.
This has not only saved me thousands of dollars throughout my life, but he just saved my $200 pants!
I am thankful for every piece of clothing that my daddy has dry cleaned, pressed, and tailored.
I'd also like to add that The Viking's dry cleaners is shutting down and moving across the street.  Sigh!

7.  Google Calendars
This nifty little app lets me link calendars with my forgetful husband.
I am thankful for every reminder you send my husband and I so that we never miss a beat.
I'd also like to add that you've been VERY helpful in avoiding unnecessary arguments!

8.  Bright colored baby headbands.
My baby girl HATES getting her hair done in the morning.  Picking out her headband makes it fun.
I am thankful for this harmless bribe to get my daughter groomed and gorgeous.
I'd also like to add that she always picks the lime green one that matches none of her clothes.

9.  Maybelline NY Baby Lips
I'm notorious for picking at my chapped lips.  Baby Lips brand lip balm saves me from this awful habit.
I am thankful for this lip balm moisturizing my lips and giving me the perfect hint of color.
I'd also like to add the shade Grape Vine goes with everything, including my skin tone!

10.  All of you!
Being part of this community really is a highlight in my life!
I am thankful for each and everyone one of you that stops by and says hello.
I'd also like to add how fabulous all of you are!  Socializing with all of you is beyond a pleasure!

What are you currently thankful for?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Life: Friday Ramblings

Happy Friday, Lovelies!
It's time for my bi-weekly rendition of your favorite R&W series, Friday Ramblings!
Please, let's keep the round of applause to a minimum before you make me blush.

Currently Ecstatic About...
My new chair at work!  It's been custom ordered to fit my body and have lumbar support!
Bye UGLY, blue chair that was so large that my butt didn't reach the back and my feet didn't hit the floor.
Besides, I love the fact that my behind was the only one to grace the seat of this fancy chair!

Currently Depressed...
That my closest cousins surprise 30th birthday party already came and gone.
This is depressing not only because of the lack of parties in my near future, but we're getting OLD.
On a side note:  We had a blast!!  She may not have been surprised, but it was a real good time.

Currently Relieved About...
Revealing my TRUE identity to the people that know almost every other detail of my life-YOU!
Something as silly as hiding behind a self proclaimed nickname can really become exhausting.
My sincerest apologies to Mr. Jackie Chan and all his fans.  No more hate mail, please!

Currently Frustrated With...
The company providing me with my mortgage.  If they ask me for ONE more thing, I'll scream.
What kills me is, they sent me a letter saying approved so what else could all this info be for?
Please. leave. me. alone.

Currently Obsessing Over...
Last Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead.
Was that, or was it not, Glenn asking for help into Daryl's walky talky?
I knew he was alive!!  I mean, assuming that really was our precious Glenn...  #TeamDaryl

Currently Dreading...
Packing up my entire apartment and lugging it somewhere else.
As excited as I am to finally own a home, I really hate the actual process of moving.
Little miss plan ahead has decided she has the right to procrastinate this time and I'm cashing in!

On a side note, please don't forget to sign up for our Thanksgiving Feast!
Please e-mail me all of your entries by clicking the e-mail link through here.
Deadline:  Monday, November 23 to make the Wednesday, November 25 post.


What are some of your Friday ramblings?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

List: Ten ways to get more productive time into your day.

Recently my life has gone from full to overflowing.
If my life was a bathtub, the bathroom would totally be flooded.

My husband got a promotion at work (woo hoo), which is amazing and awful at the same time.
I’m loving the extra money, but his new work schedule really stinks.
We’re talking Monday through Friday at 5am to 5pm, Saturdays at 8am to 2pm, & Sunday 6am-12pm.
While it’s definitely good news, it’s costing us a lot of sleep and putting lots of extra work on me.
All those little things he did that I totally never appreciated now fall on me, and I’m WIPED.
It puts a whole new meaning on the saying “you never know what you got until you lose it”!

On top of my hubby’s new work hours, I still have all my typical stresses at my own job, home, etc.
Add a heaping spoon of buying a house, a layer of the college class from hell, a sprinkle of potty training…
And you get a gross looking sundae called One Stressed Out Mama!!!
You think I should market that?  It could totally sell!

While I could spend hours venting, it’s about time I solve the problem.
Solution:  I need more free time for productivity throughout the day.
No matter how stressed I am, I always make time to make a list!

Ten ways to get more productive time into your day.

1.  Eliminate redundant tasks.
I’m infamous for this.  I tend to indirectly do the same thing over and over again.
We’ll just blame my OCD for this one…and do everything possible to stop it.

2.  Motivate yourself.
I like to get things done as quickly as possible so I can have uninterrupted free time later on.
It’s sad when things like “quiet time” and watching a 30 minute TV show become motivation!

3.  Revise your schedule to fit your new needs.
Unfortunately, when one thing in life changes so does almost everything else.  Make it work for you.
When I get into a routine, it’s real hard for me to break it.  Here’s to deep breathes and new schedules…

4.  Prioritize.
It’s important to get priorities straight.  Wasted time on unimportant tasks is time you can’t get back.
I’m constantly wasting hours on unnecessary things and then have to rush through the priorities.

5.  When doing for the present, do for the future.
You could save time with repetitive daily tasks by making them weekly activities.
I save time by spending 20 min on Sunday making my lunches for the week instead of 15 min a day.  Win!

6.  Multitask.
When possible, multitask!  If two tasks are similar, it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone.
If two reports require the same information, it makes just sense to do them simultaneously.

7.  Ask for help.
Whether to save face or out of stubbornness, people are always afraid to ask for help.  Just do it.
There’s no need to kill yourself if someone else can ease the burden.  Besides, most people LIKE to help!

8.  Keep yourself well rested.
Rest might sound counterproductive, but without it you’re more likely to be slow and full of mistakes.
When I see myself getting groggy, I go to bed early.  I make up for it by waking up early the next day.

9.  If completely necessary, pay for it.
Sometimes it makes sense to pay to have a service done.  I don’t like to, but a heart attack ain’t worth it!
As my wise grandpa always says, how much money is your time worth?”

10.  Make a list!
What better way to reschedule, prioritize, and multitask then to have a list of everything you need to do!
I mean, what else did you expect me to say?  Lists are the best thing since, like, ever!!!

How do you add more productive time to your day?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life: Allow me to formally re-introduce myself.

Hi everybody!!!  I'd like to take a moment and formally introduce myself.
Wait a second!  You've known me for years.  What on earth could I possibly mean?!

I've been hiding behind a computer screen since 2012 and I've come to hate it.
I used to love my self appointed nickname along with all the others I've assigned to people.
Well, to be quite honest, I've out grown them.
I'm sick of referring to my husband as "my man", my baby as "my mushy", and my bff as "biff"!
Just to be clear, I totally call my baby girl "mushy" in real life.  But, that's besides the point!
Without further adieu...

That gorgeous little girl all the way to left is my perfect baby daughter.
Her name is Luciana, pronounced LOO-CHI-AH-NA.
We call her Luci, pronounced LOO-CHI, for short.
But, she will forever be my little mushy mushy...although she's starting to fight her nickname!

That tall, dark, and handsome man in the center is my husband.
His name is Carlos, but he's also fondly referred to as my Cubanito or Carlito.
My friends, family, and co-workers all refer to him as the poor guy that deals with me!

Last, but certainly not least, the woman to right that for some reason screams "queen" is me.
My name is Jaclyn, but people close to me commonly call me Jac.
Just PLEASE, for the love of God, do NOT call me Jackie.  It reminds me of Jackie Chan.

It's nice to formally meet you.
It's also a little bit relieving.  I felt silly hiding behind those nicknames.

Please do me the pleasure of formally introducing you!
**I am NOT asking you to step out of your comfort zone here.  So please do not feel pressured.  Just simply say hello.**

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bloghop: Thanksgiving Recipe Potluck

Did you sign up for the Thanksgiving feast that I'm hosting?
If you haven't yet, please do!  We'd love to have  you!
If you'd like to join but lack the desire to cook, just bring something store bought.  We won't judge!

Deadline:  Send me an e-mail with your recipe and/or picture by November 20th.
My e-mail address can be found:  here!

Last year I decided to host a feast via a virtual Thanksgiving potluck.
Unfortunately I waited too long to ask people to participate so we had a very small turn out.
It may have been small, but let me tell you it was delicious!
I’d like to try it again, but earlier, since I had so much fun doing the smaller version last year.

Thanksgiving Virtual Potluck
Listen up because this where I say how it works!

First I recruit some lovely participants like yourselves to join in on the feast.
Next, those who decided to participate should e-mail me a copy of their favorite Thanksgiving recipe.
It would be even better if you could supply a picture to go with your recipe.  We’ll eat with our eyes!
Once I receive all of the submissions, I’ll put together a post compiling our potluck.
Each recipe will be linked back to the person who submitted it.
This is extra fun for me because I also like to try out the recipe in real life.  I hope you do too!

The feast is taking place on Wednesday, November 25th.

Who’s bringing appetizers, main dishes, or dessert?

Monday, November 9, 2015

List: Ten things to do before even looking for a home.

I know that I’ve mentioned this a few times now, but my husband and I are buying a house.
…and believe me when I say this is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done…
Something that should be an exciting and enjoyable task is actually real complicated and excruciating.
We wanted stability for our daughter and we were quickly growing out of our apartment.
Those two reasons started us on the journey for the search of our home.
By journey I mean a very tedious and obstacle filled road that gives you lots and lots of pimples!

We knew that we were very naïve to the entire process from beginning to end.
Since we knew this, we decided to reach out for help before diving into the biggest decision of our life.
I called my rockin’ life coach to give me her next bit of life changing advice!

Ten important things to do prior to house hunting.

1.  Educate yourself.
There are multiple resources for home buyers to educate themselves on the complete process.
We went to two classes and they were both very informative with information from all perspectives!

2.  Research grants.
There are numerous different grants out there for all different types of people in different situations.
We found multiple first time home buyer grants.  Any amount of free money helps, so, yes please!

3.  Make a budget.
Total your income and subtract your expenses to see how much of a mortgage your could afford.
Remember affordability means being comfortable.  You want to own a home AND have a life!

4.  Research areas of interest.
Become an expert in school district ratings, crime statistics, and other points of interest to you.
The best advice I got was to be several different towns that we’d be comfortable purchasing in.

5.  Hire a knowledgeable team.
Work off of referrals and make sure that they are always within reach to answer all questions.
I got lucky with this since one of the classes I took gave us great referrals!

6.  Become well versed in mortgage products.
Learn the ins and outs of different mortgages and decide which one best fits your needs.
There are several state or federal funded loans that really are great.  Look into those too!

7.  Check your credit score.
You should be very familiar with your credit score and all of the relating variables.
Despite my original belief, a credit score doesn’t have a very high impact on your mortgage amount.

8.  Familiarize yourself with taxes.
Learn the ins and outs of property taxes because they impact everything when it comes to a home.
Taxes not only increase your monthly mortgage payments, but they also impact closing costs.

9.  Build up your savings accounts
If you’re serious about getting a home, you’ll never have enough money.  Bulk up the savings now!
This was the hardest part for us!  It seems like every time we have extra cash, we spend it.

10.  List your non-negotiable items.
These could be anything.  Maybe you must have a large backyard or you require gas heating.
My counselor is huge on this!  She knows that picking non-negotiables will point you in the right direction. 

What are your tips for preparing for home ownership?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bloghop: Thanksgiving Recipe Potluck

Last year I decided to host a feast via a virtual Thanksgiving potluck.
Unfortunately I waited too long to ask people to participate so we had a very small turn out.
It may have been small, but let me tell you it was delicious!
I’d like to try it again, but earlier, since I had so much fun doing the smaller version last year.

Thanksgiving Virtual Potluck
Listen up because this where I say how it works!

First I recruit some lovely participants like yourselves to join in on the feast.
Next, those who decided to participate should e-mail me a copy of their favorite Thanksgiving recipe.
It would be even better if you could supply a picture to go with your recipe.  We’ll eat with our eyes!
Once I receive all of the submissions, I’ll put together a post compiling our potluck.
Each recipe will be linked back to the person who submitted it.
This is extra fun for me because I also like to try out the recipe in real life.  I hope you do too!

Deadline:  I’d like to have all submissions by Fri 11/20 for the potluck on Wed 11/25.

Who’s bringing appetizers, main dishes, or dessert?
Come one, join in the fun!  I’m hosting which means I’ll do most of the clean up anyways!

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