Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dave Ramsey books

I have been reading a ton of books regarding getting out of debt. Yep, we are in debt, and it is looming over my family, especially me. I just finished Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" and now reading "Financial Peace Revisited". If you have not heard of these books, check them out from the library. He and his wife made millions on real estate, and then lost everything when it crashed and they overspend on everything. He got out of debt finally and now making millions again. A lot of his classes are taught through your church, and it is interspersed with Bible quotations. Basically he talks about getting rid of your debt, and using cash for everything. Yes, everything. At the end of this journey, anyone can become wealthy. We are trying to adhere to his principles but it is really quite hard at times. Sharon Ramsey, Dave's wife, says if you want become wealthy, here are some basic rules: 1. Set up a budget 2. Do not overspend. 3. Stick to the budget. 4. Buy the basics. You will be able to afford the best later. 5. Save, save, save. I think the hardest part, is this month is a big one: Shane's birthday and Christmas. In the past I have always overspend, sort of like my mother when we were kids. I can't this year and my kids know it. Shane wants to spend his birthday with us only, and we are going to Farrell's, paying in cash of course. We have asked him if he wants a friend but no. In regards to Christmas, I h=am using gift cards to buy the presents. I used Swagbucks and redeem my points for Amazon gift cards because you can buy almost anything on Amazon. Wish me luck. Talk to you soon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Changed my Blog Focus

Hi!  I know that you haven't heard from me in awhile.  I have been busy with my daily life and it is finally getting into a groove. I have been trying to add creative items to my spare time.  Spare time?  What is that?  I am now tutoring as much as I can possibly can - six days a week from 2 pm and on.  That plate is very full. 

Now I want to pursue my creative side like creating cards, scrapbooks. and home d├ęcor using Close To My Heart products.  I have not stopped being a consultant for the best company out there.  I want to add more.

Yes, you heard me right more.  I am more than a Close To My Heart consultant.  I am also a Moya Moya survivor, stay at home mom, and private tutor.  I wear many hats which I like some days more than others.  That is life. 

I was talking to my therapist like I do every Thursday from 10 to 11.  I love that woman - she keeps me sane and centered.  We were discussing my wanting to write or blog more.  I want to stretch my abilities like writing.  I was a much better writer before the strokes.  Now I want to improve that area.  I told her that I am reading blogs about writing blogs and books too.  I also downloaded a blogging schedule for 2014.  I am serious about this blogging stuff.  During this discussion we were brainstorming what I could talk/write about.  We thought of these ideas:  Moya Moya syndrome, my creations with paper, cooking and ways to save money.  I realized I could write about one subject a day, and Friday is a free for all. I will take the weekends off since I want to spend it with family.   Should I add anything?  I am up for suggestions. 

This is my thinking about the name change, or should I say a much longer title.  Talk to you tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grilled Margarita Chicken

from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup non-alcoholic Margarita mix
3 Tablespoon Lime juice
1 or 2 clove of crushed garlic
Course salt
3 to 3-1/2 pounds cut-up broiler-flyer chicken (I used boneless, skinless thighs and breasts)

Mix 1/2 cup of margarita mix, garlic, lime juice in a resealable plastic food bag. Add the chicken; seal bag and turn to coat with marinade.  Refrigerate and turn bag every hour. Let chicken marinate at least 1 hour but no longer than 24 hours. Remive chicken from marinade and put on grill.  Brush with marinade and sprinkle with the course salt.  Continue brushing occasionally with remaining marinade while grilling.

We are having the above chicken for dinner tonight with beans and rice casarimento (married in Spanish).  This is one of my go-to recipes because everyone likes it.  Pat and I love the leftover (if they are leftovers) because it goes great in a panini or on a salad.  I am voting for the salad.  Both of us need to lose some, all right a lot, of weight.  We have agreed to less cheese which is a major step for us, also no more buying soda.  Eeek!  How am I going to live without Coke Zero.  That is my vice. Oh well!  

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Disneyland and Close To My Heart

Close To My Heart's Convention was last week, and I wasn't there.  I have been a Consultant with CTMH for close to 4 or 5 years now.  The first year I was able to go to it in DC, and it was a ton of fun.  I followed this year's via Twitter and Facebook, and now I want to go again.  Our next convention is will be at Disneyland from June 26th through the 28th, and I am going. My family agreed to have next year's vacation in Anaheim.  We all want to Disneyland and California Adventures, and Pat wants to sit by the pool.  I agree with him, because it won't be 113 degrees like it is this week!  I have already started saving my money to go to Convention.  I am sure they will have a Dollar to Disney, or something like that. They do every year.  Plus this is Close To My Heart's 30th anniversary, and I am sure it will be one of the best. I definitely can't miss that!

This year I have been focusing my efforts on my tutoring business which is doing well.  I have enough clients to keep me busy, and still have time for my family. My CTMH business is not doing so well.  This year I barely made minimums and I was ok with that until this month.  I like making cards and scrapbooking - I really do.  I realize that I haven't done much for me lately, and it is getting me down.  Enough with down!! Upwards and onwards I say! 

I am going to work a little harder with my other business Close To My Heart. I am going to Team Meetings and monthly Consulting Club too.  Work my business a little more - more phone calls and more workshops too.  The new catalog has so many great items in it.  We have another Cricut cartridge called Artbooking Collection. It has a new font and the abilities to create themed mini books and 12" by 12" pages too.  I can't wait to get my hands on it.  CTMH helps you and I get our pages or books done.  They also have two different Crush books - a lot like Smashbooks.  One is Modville which is charmingly urban retro. The other is called Bluebird and is playfully boutique chic.  The last item I am super excited about is called Base and Bling - wearable crafting projects.  You might have guessed it is jewelry including necklaces, cuffs, rings, headbands and hair clips. I think I can really get into these items!

That is enough for now.  I plan on posting more about Close To My Heart, my completed projects, my cooking successes and misses, and anything else to catches my eye.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fourth of July 2012

Last summer on our vacation we went to DC and Virginia. We were in Virginia with Uncle Norman and his family over Fourth of July.  This is a layout I created using Close to my Heart's Studio J.  They are super fast and easy - this one only took 45 minutes tops.  I will say it was hot and steamy during our trip.  On the Fourth it was so hot that we stayed inside and didn't stay for the fireworks.  We flew out the next day, back to our desert heat.  We never caught a break on the weather.

New Calendar

I bought a new school calendar a couple of weeks ago, and I finally put all of my dates and birthdays in it.  I love new calendars.  To me every summer and definately September  are a new start of the year.  Once a teacher always a teacher.  I don't feel as excited in January - it is not the same thing.  June is the end of the year, and it starts again in the summer.  That is just me and all of the other teachers out there.

Today is the last day of helping HS students pass the high school exit exam.  I started at the beginning of the month.  I feel like it is too late for them.  I tried.  I realize that my body and brain doesn't like "being on" for 3 hours 3 days of the week.  Last year when I was homeschooling a student was very difficult for me, but that was 24 hours if I was lucky. I am constantly trying to find balance in my life.  I need to be here for my family without a migraine.  I am still trying after more than 6 years of being disabled, maybe I will learn sooner or later. 

I had a great Mother's Day.  Julie came for a visit, and we just hung out the whole time.  We caught up on Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest and Elementary.  Those are some of my favorites plus CSI and Body of Proof.  This is the last season for Body of Proof - it was canceled this weekend.  We are great food. Mario's and Mexican food on Saturday.    Breakfast of bacon and pancakes; Panera for late lunch; and Brie and good bread for dinner.  I of course hurt myself.  What would be a Father's Day or Mother's Day without an injury?  Usually it is burning myself on the stove, but yesterday I cut my finger with a sharp knife.  At least I didn't have to go to Urgent Care like I did for a past Father's Day.  That sucked!  Overall the weekend was a great one.  Next weekend the family is coming here for Shane's First Communion.  I need to get ready for their coming as in cleaning the heck out of the house.  A little bit each day!  If something doesn't get done we will live with it!  I am rambling again - at least I am writing. More later.  I need to post some layouts of Virginia and DC I did using Studio J. So fun, easy and quick!

Friday, May 10, 2013

I am back with a whisper!

I look back at the last entry and laugh.  Yep I am back in a vengence - yeah right.  I always mean to write but I get stuck at times.  Sometimes it is my horrible spelling or I think I am so busy doing stupid stuff like laundry.  I hate laundry and dishes - they never end.  My kids hate them too.  I am a mean mommy and make them fold the clean clothes and put away dishes. If they want an allowance, they have chores and rules.  Pat and I agree about no playing on the computer Sunday night through Thursday night.  If they have a project or need to do KidBiz that is something different.  We also don't have a Wii or Playstation, but I think Pat and I would use way too much and get nothing done.    I don't know where I am going with this. 

Jenan is a big writer.  She currently has many stories in progress, and she hopes to prublish them soon.  I think she needs to finish one first.  Ha ha! We try to encdourage her.  She also thinks I should write about MoyaMoya syndrome - all the strokes, surgeries, what happened during that time and it affects me and our family daily.  I think I need to use semi-colons.  I think she miught be right. We checked on Amazon and they are none.  Moya Moya syndrome finally was addressed on a TV show - Grey's Anatomy last week. That is the first time ever.  They had a child with it, but they are effected more than adult I think.  Last Monday was World Moya Moya Day.  That was big on Facebook - I celebrated it with a posting or two.  I am on FB way too much.  Big time waster but I love it.  Jenan might be right; I would might writing a book.  It did change my life a ton.  My life right now it is what I pictured it to be.  Hmmm!

My friends also think I should post my recipes.  I cook a lot now. I  am home and we are trying to save money so I cook.  I don't cook fancy meals, like my mom did.  Mine are easy and usually involve the Crockpot.  I love my Crockpot.    I don't remember Mom having one.  I don't think my mom would use one anyway. I do remember my parents using a pressure cooker.  That thing scared the heck out of me.  I was always worried that it would explode when I was near.

I am close this novel, and I want to write more.  I will post my Close To My Heart creations, post my recipes (flops and good ones) and my thoughts about life and MoyaMoya syndrome.  If you are curious about MoyaMoya please go to and we have a wealth of information.  You probably don't have it since one in 12 million people get it.  I am so lucky!!  Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day!