Saturday, July 17, 2010

Financial Peace University

This past Tuesday night I attended the first class in the Financial Peace University series by Dave Ramsey. I had heard about this through handsome's uncle and didn't know the name of it. For months I was searching for it and we can never get a hold of his uncle so I just kept looking. I thought it was FPU but was not sure.

Just by luck we were in Dollar General getting something and there was his Aunt's sister. She was talking to us about family and about FPU, here she was going to lead a class in the next few months. Not thinking anything of it I went home and kept thinking about it. The class materials are just a bit on the pricey side, but supposedly ever so worth it. The kit includes the book, workbook, cds, envelopes for assigning your money to a task, and some other helpful items.

I finally decided why not, I kept thinking about signing up, it was now time to do it. I went online to Dave Ramsey and checked out the FPU website. Just for fun I decided to check out if there were any classes in any of the neighboring areas. Much to my surprise there was! AND it was in my town in a local church. I didn't know the lady's name, but figured if it's through a church it should be fairly legit. I signed up to receive more information. Here it turned out it was handsome's Aunt's sister leading it. See when I met her I wasn't really introduced, it was a casual talking meet.

The first class we watched dvd 1 in the series and then sat in a circle to get acquainted and discuss our goals and experiences. It's pretty neat. There were people that wanted to start saving for their kid's college education because the kids were already teens, others wanted to pay off debt, myself I want to get set for when I get married and have kids, one man has had a serious health issue that keeps him on disability instead of traveling the world like he used to, another wants to save up so that he can be a philanthropist.

We do not discuss our actual finances. We discuss how to use the 7 steps and processes to pay off debt, save an emergency fund, save several months of living expenses, and so forth. This week's homework is to make up your budget. There is a sample in the back of the book. You are to assign every last dollar of your income. We are to pay in cash or check for things and not rely on the credit card. So far it has been easy, I figured I'd have trouble. I actually accidentally misplaced mine in a different purse and have decided to use the rest of the money I took out from the last payday. I STILL have money leftover and I think it is because like Dave says, actual physical money makes it more painful to give it away. I have held on tight to the cash I have had. This is a first in a long time. We are also to start saving $1000 for our emergency fund. The idea of this is to have this for the inevitable rainy days that strike: car, health, etc. The TRUE emergencies. If you have this saved up it will at least help towards that unplanned event. You might say well when that is gone you do not have an emergency fund, that's right, you start a new one. The only thing that I am still confused about is you are supposed to pay the minimum on your bills (if you can) and then start your saving right away. I was always under the impression that you should pay off your bills in full, then use what you have left as you see fit. The idea is you want to have the emergency fund so that you do not think well my only option is to charge this emergency, then you are further in debt or will at least have a hard time paying it off and with interest accruing.

I highly recommend finding a group wherever you are. It's Christian based, but you do not have to be a Christian to attend one. Common sense put into action.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dining Out- A favorite pastime/presentime

I adore going out to eat. We were just joking about what to do when we have kids and how things would be cut back. I was told oh no then there won't be kids if we can't go out to eat. Of course this was just a joke! I truly enjoy going out and enjoying food. I think it might be the social aspect more than the food. I know the convenience is a big one for us.

We went to Subway today, hadn't been there in probably a month. We always get one of our 3 favorite things to eat. I'm big on the veggie sub because I just adore veggies and I am trying not to eat meat that I don't know where it has come from or that is not locally grown. (We get a beef raised locally without any antibiotics and steroids by a local farmer.) We've always done this since before I was born.

A goal that I have is making meals at home more instead of going out. This is for $ reasons (just trying to save a little extra) and to see what great concoctions I can come up with. Sometimes the best food is simple food.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One of my favorite things...

Is going to a nearby town to go out to eat at Brady's and shop at Collections By Marty. Today they had the latest Vera Bradley purse patterns for Fall on display.

They opened early and had specials. Of course my family and I went up there, looked around (I swear I can tell you what the whole store has because we go there so often), and bought a few goodies. One thing was a purse for my mum in the newest pattern of Slate Blooms. It's like a denim blue with some light brown.

If we don't buy my mum a new purse she carries the old one till we are tired of seeing it. Those types of things don't matter to her. She has her priorities right and material things aren't important to her. That doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to have new things, we make sure that she does.

I also bought myself my very first Gooseberry Patch Cookbook! I am thrilled. It is Farmers Market Favorites. I thought that was fitting because I adore going to our local farmers market and getting fresh/local produce and products. I have recently really gotten into baking and cooking. I love homemade meals. Nothing better for the soul.

We ran over to the shop that is run by some distant cousins from the Ritenour family where my family bought a gazebo. They carry Amish made wooden pieces for outdoors, lawn decorations, etc. We were looking for a gnome/fairy door to put on the stump in the yard and ask about a gazebo cover.

By then it was about lunch time so we went to Bradys. We all usually get the same meal just because its so great. This time we opted for the soup and salad bar. The mushroom soup was divine, I loaded up on salad makings and enjoyed one of their warm homemade rolls. We always take an extra one to feed the ducks outside. You'd swear those ducks were starving, but you know darn well that they are not!

It is our little vacation time away from home, but close enough to run back home fast.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One mile towards health

Something that I absolutely love to do is walk! It's my favorite form of exercise. I used to do it forever when I was younger. I'm not that old now, just got out of the habit of doing it and now rely on transportation.

My Auntie is visiting and we went shopping to hunt down the Sketchers Shapeup shoes. I know you've seen them before. The ones that pretty much look silly like you're on high platform sneakers. She was going to get them for my uncle because he has knee, leg, back problems, but where we went they didn't carry the mens. She bought herself a pair and has been raving about them. Funny thing is I've known about these style shoes for years.

The Shapeups are based on the MBT style shoe. I bought my several years ago and love wearing them. It is truly like you're walking on clouds and in the sand. They feel amazing. If you're on your feet for long periods of time or have back/leg/knee issues you have to try these out. I highly recommend them. I bought my MBTs on "sale" they were still pricey $$. Worth every penny. I kept telling my family that I bought them several years back and that the concept is not "new". I am pleased that they have made a more affordable version and that others have found the comfort and relief of this style of a shoe.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sometimes you step in it. Or someone else does.

I spent my afternoon scrubbing the carpets in the hall, dining room, living room, and kitchen yesterday. My sweet little fur boy Louis gets mad when people are gone and he gets upset and decides to protest by pooping in the wrong places! I had some family members searching for a phone number for me when I called them. Apparently he had gone on a oriental throw rug and someone stepped in it. Like I said sometimes you step in it or someone else does. I gave up when they couldn't find the number and came home to find it. I saw the trail around the house and went ohhhh my I know what I'll do Monday. Thank goodness we have our own rug scrubber! Whew! I must say it gave me an excuse to clean all of the carpets not just the spots. I feel like the house is sparkling :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ruthies-Hometown Diner

A place where handsome and I have become absolute REGULARS at is Ruthie's Diner. It's not much to look at when you pull up to it, but it's my secret treasure inside. The waitresses are absolutely dolls. They know what you drink and go out of their way to make sure that you get what you need. Where else do they give you a FREE to go of coffee or their amazing sweet tea? FOR FREE if you had already ordered some during your meal!

It's the best place to go when you are on lunch break. Handsome works at a private farm and takes care of the land and the horses. He goes in there almost every day and gets his meal. Sometimes he gets a Steak-um, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, or Breakfast. I just had something there for the first time, Chicken and Biscuits. OMGosh was it great! Never had such yummy chicken and biscuits. When we go in at lunch you're guaranteed to see the other regulars and you sure get to know them by name and face.

Today we went there and it was like a Sunday (their Sundays are PACKED, waiting room only usually). However busy they are they make it run like a well-oiled machine. Today we had one of the bus girls waiting on us. We waited longer than usual and our drinks were depleted, but I asked a new bus girl if she could help us out. She was so sweet and pleasant for it being so darn busy. That is what I'm talking about! I absolutely love the service that we get there. Home-cooked food with Caring Service. The prices are pretty low and you get a ton of food. I love meeting up with friends there for even something as simple as some fries. You can frequent it and not break the bank. Just another treasure in my town. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Little Boy~Louis

My little boy, Louis is turning 6 on June 27th!!! I have been so blessed to have him in my life.

I had another dog before him, Winnie. She was getting sick in 2004. I had just lost my cousin to a drunk driver and then Winnie became sick and we feared that she would die.

I couldn't take another tragedy so we called our vet, Dr. Beam, and asked the receptionist if they knew of any miniature schnauzers. There was a pet shop/grooming place across from a place called the Mozart House that had schnauzers in the window. I was at my mum's school and decided to walk over to see the dogs. Louis was "the doggie in the window". I picked him up and he was so friendly immediately. He was so small he fit in my hand. He played with the toto-like dogs that were in the window with him. Louis touched my heart.
I have had fun dressing him up, playing with him, walking him, and teaching him random things. He is a very intelligent dog. He has picked up the words, house, home, gazebo, kitchen, potty, ouch, gentle, kisses, love, and more. I didn't try to teach him the words, I just talked to him so much and apparently used those words enough that he picked them up.

When I take him for a walk he is constantly stopped to be pet, fussed over, and complimented. He welcomes the attention and almost expects it when others don't do it.

He loves vanilla ice cream, leftover meat, bread, Mammy's homemade meals for him, soft/cream colored toys, sitting on the swing, running across the street to his great-grandparents, hanging out in the gazebo or his house, laying in clothes, greeting visitors, and most of all sitting on laps.
He is who I talk to about my problems, my joys, everyday things, and my companion. I am so thankful to have him to remind me of unconditional love and is always happy to see me.


Friday, June 18, 2010

This is my new love.

I have been pining over getting a Dyson for several years. I ha originally thought that the DC25 all floor was the greatest thing on Earth, but then I had my eyes opened to the animal. 

I must say I just put the vacuum together in about five minutes because I didn't have the instruction booklet out of the box.

I just ran it over the Just vacuumed carpet and boy did it suck out the gunk!!

I am so happy and pleased. Back to vacuuming!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Visit to Bo-peep


School Schedule

The Treasures of Yesteryear~Cleaning

While I was cleaning out some areas in the basement I decided to tackle the old armoire that currently houses books. I moved the old Nancy Drews to the bookshelf and the little kid books to their section (I swear that when I have children I will never have to buy them a book EVER) and came across this book.

On the top of the front cover it has her name. Her real name was Elizabeth, but many knew her as Betty. This is from when she attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania for college, when it was known as Indiana Normal School. It prepared you to be a teacher. I like the worn cover look.

The cover page on the inside is very worn and looks as though someone had a feast of paper.
I liked looking at the different lessons and what they suggested to do. She taught in several one room schoolhouses and loved what she did. I think it's neat and makes me giggle at how formal everything is. I sort of long for that in life anymore.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Coal Mining-Local Area

I've grown up hearing stories about my Mammy (grandmother) growing up with her father being a Superintendent of different Coal Mines. They lived in several towns where he worked at. Our library had a wonderful display of the local's mine paraphernalia. We were proud to have my Great-grandfather and Great-great grandfather's picture on display as well as their lanterns.

My Great-grandfather attended college (pretty rare back in his time) at Washington & Jefferson College where he studied Engineering, which later led to his career of being in charge of mines. Not only had he worked in the mines where he learned the normal mining skills, but as a Mine Super he picked up on the languages of the mine workers. To this day we have some words that were passed down from him like Rukawitzy (spelling is not accurate) which means mittens. My mother went to school and asked where her Rukawitzys were. Needless to say they were not sure what she was talking about. When he dealt with the miners many had immigrated from all different countries. He had to be able to communicate with them, this meant he had to learn and catch on quickly to the different languages. He was also more than just the Mine Super, he took care of the men as well.

The one on the left is my Great-great grandfather and the one on the right is my Great-grandfather

I am very proud of my Great-grandfather and his career as the Superintendent of the different coal mines that he worked at. He was a hardworking man, honest, caring, and very smart.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life... it happens

I have been extra busy lately. It's the end of the school year things that creep up. A few weeks ago I was trying to think of all the things I've been involved in this year.

*DAR (Daughter's of the American Revolutions)- not like how it is portrayed on the Gilmore Girls, dear friends.

*Deacons- I am the moderator so when people call for assistance, help, a project, etc. it comes to me.

*Bell Choir- we play bells and practice every week. I took over the position after a dear church friend passed away suddenly, she was only in her 50s.

*I give private music lessons on instruments and voice. So that is through the week.

*I sell Silpada Jewelry (.925 Sterling Silver) and Tastefully Simple (easy to prepare delicious food)

* I teach computer and music at a school, play piano at a church, and used to work a few other jobs.

*I have planned many events this year.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gallant champions of international renown vie for honors at the rolling rock steeplechase an extravaganza of the sport of kings held annually for a magnificent charity. *all from yesteryear*


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This is my new goal...a healthy and cheap lunch. The wrap I bought from giant eagle for 4.50. Yes I would've scrounged up something here but ill be attending a conference so I didn't want to buy anything to just sit here. The drink is milk and a cappuciono cooler. You can buy them in a pack and they have less calories than a frappucino!


Monday, April 19, 2010

To Catch You Up

This weekend was a whirlwind weekend, but one of the best. Friday night I came home from work and was looking forward to "relaxing". Handsome called me and told me to put on my best dress we're going to the symphony. So I ran upstairs, threw on a black dress that I did not know how it would fit, decided it looked ok, put on my pearls that he had bought me for Christmas, put my heels on and ready I was.

The drive in was interesting due to traffic for the Penguins hockey game and the storm that blew down trees and debris. Gotta love how a GPS tells you you're almost there, but then that street is closed because of construction. we had this issue about 4 times. We finally found A parking garage (not the one that we had a parking pass for) and walked through construction on sidewalks and over a good distance to Heinz Hall. I wish I had taken a second to take pictures, but with the hassle of walking in heels, carrying an umbrella the size of myself, and dodging people and the rain I was preoccupied. We arrived pretty much just in time. The seats were in row E and I swear I could have spit on the grand piano. They did 2 pieces, The Mermaid by Zemlinsky, you can truly hear what is happening in the story and picture it. The English horn was gorgeous in this (I'm super partial to English horn because that is what I played in the top ensemble in college) and I just couldn't help but smile when I heard it. Beethoven's Piano Concerto 3 was done amazingly by Yefim Bronfman. He was so wonderful that he received a standing ovation 4 times and after walking out on the fourth time he gave us an encore. It was that amazing!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy sunday


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Local Hunt

Last week I was invited out to see the local hunt take off. I've attended one other one before. This one was nice to see because of the sunshine, green lush grass all around, and the excitement of the horses and hounds taking off. Here's a few of the pictures. My one friend pointed out to me that two of the hounds have spots that look like hearts on them. The people in blue shirts are members and the people in white shirts are the people in charge of the hunt. They blew the horn, galloped off into the sunset...errr landscape and with that they were gone.

Easter Wonders and Byers Choice

This was my little Easter display. I was surprised last August when I opened a package that held the two Easter children and then this Easter I opened a package that held the Easter mom. I LOVE Easter. It's my favorite holiday by far with Christmas and Halloween following right behind. I think I enjoy Easter so much because of the celebrating. I enjoy hearing about Christ rising, the grass is getting green, the bunnies are out (I'm a huge bunny fan), and I love pastel colors. One of my favorite scenes from a favorite movie (lots of favorites in this post, I know) is when the kids are doing the Easter egg hunt in Steel Magnolias. The pinks, baby blues, yellows, and greens are gorgeous. I think the anticipation of Spring and Summer to come are what makes me giddy and excited for Easter.

These are just a few of my Byers Choice collection. Every one of my Byers Choice figures have been a gift. I fell in love with them in the Williamsburg catalog. When my grandparents went down several years ago they asked what I would like, or was it Christmas, either way I said a Byers Choice colonial figure. I received one and have a growing collection. Look at the details on these 3. They are all hand made at the factory in Chalfonte, PA. We've been to the factory, walked around looking at the displays, watched a video on how she came up with the idea, and the gift shop filled to the brim with Byers Choice figures and displays. Some of my collection are hand signed on the bottom and limited editions. I'll post more another day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Staying Healthy Together.

Check out my girl, Donna at Staying Healthy Together. She's just a ray of sunshine and positive vibes. She just gets it. Right now she is working on getting fit and healthy. The crazy thing is always swimming, jogging, exercising, and eating right. What an inspiration! I am in awe at how much she is doing to get fit. She's training for a tri-athlon. I can't wait to see what else she'll take on. She is also a great Massage Therapist. She has this wild but awesome concept of a mobile massage. Donna goes around our town and gives massages with her mobile chair. It's awesome and I've never heard of anything like it. Her website is here.