Monday, December 27, 2010

Reevaluating Life

After a spell of some serious home-sickness Christmas evening I came up with a list of things I am unhappy with in my life. Here is what I scrawled down:

  • Miss my family
  • Not content at work
  • Money
  • Little time for "me"
  • Always in a rush to complete something
  • Miss RI

So the first and last items of course I think were very much due to the homesickness, however, I think there is a lot to be said about everything on this list. I am definitely going to take it to heart to improve my life.

I started thinking about where I am and where I want to be. What am I doing? Where do I want to see myself in the next year? 5 years?

How can I improve my business? If I improve my business, that could lead to more money, and travel which could solve my money, job and homesickness problems. But I also need to make sure I am taking time to take care of myself. This weekend I used a little money that I had received for Christmas to buy myself some clothes. I haven't bought myself any clothes other than my Target uniform in at least 3 years or more. I don't do little things like take the time to do my nails or to spend a little time doing something not related to bettering my business. I love my business, it is my dream and livlihood, but sometimes between working full time and trying to run a business I find that I don't have anytime to take care of me!

I'm hoping to create a plan that will help me find balance in my life. To find happiness and direction. This isn't a New Years Resolution, it's a manifesto. I will make my life better and I'm letting you all know it!!

Anyone else going through similar thoughts/feelings?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Being Thrifty and Creative

In this time of the holiday shopping season, many are facing hard times. Money is tight and what little we have is usually spent on gifts for friends and loved ones this time of year. Myself, I find that a little creativity can go a long way in helping to save money but still keep you with a full belly!

For example this morning I made pancakes. I am but one Vegan lady, but I made 6 pancakes. I had some flour (which I always try to have on hand, usually you can buy it under a dollar a pound, so a 5 pound bag can go along way--even gluten-free flour isn't that bad if you look for it on sale!), some dried cranberries (places like Walgreens sell dried cranberries for a $1 a box, sometimes 2 for $1!), and some chocolate chips. I made all different flavors of pancakes, some chocolate chip, some cranberry, a gingerbread one, even a candy cane pancake! I had one pancake for breakfast and wrapped the others up and put them in the freezer for a quick breakfast each morning before work this week. Since I used all items that I already had on hand in the kitchen, I didn't have to buy anything for breakfast this week at the supermarket.

I also made pizza for dinner tonight (again, that flour comes in handy!) while one handmade crust was in the oven I made 5 mini pizza crusts and baked the mini crusts while putting the toppings on the large crust fresh out of the oven. I used artichoke hearts, black olives, Daiya cheese, and Light Life pepperoni to make 5 mini pizzas in different combinations of toppings. Once they came out of the oven I let them cool on the counter and after dinner wrapped the mini pizzas and put them in the freezer to bring to lunch with me each day.

I plan on baking some energy bars in the morning to bring with me in place of granola bars this week for work, and for snacks I bought a bag of sugar snap peas at Trader Joes for less than $3.

I don't always have the time or the energy to make all of my meals for the week ahead of time, but I find that if I make the time to do it, not only do I enjoy it--because I'm making something special for me that will also make my life easier during the busy week--but I find that it forces me to be creative and save money at the same time.

What are some of your favorite money-saving ideas or tips?