Outlook Good! #manifest

Month #2 is nearing an end. Goodbye February, you’ve been grand.

WOW 2019, so many new doors and opportunities, combined with a new goals and projects, have graciously presented themselves to me over the past two months.

Whether one or 2 or three, or even NONE of these gifts ever come to fruition- it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s more than OK to dream.

So where to begin?

This year I’ve been taking an abundance mentality, and looking to view things in a positive light. I’m manifesting what I want. Asking the universe to give it to me. Sure… I’m still waiting for those winning lottery, powerball and mega millions numbers to land in my hand, but until then, I’m winning at the game of life.

It sounds like crazy talk, right?

It’s not, I’m definitely not certifiable, and no drugs or daily meds! I’m just honestly envisioning how I want my life to go, and opening myself up to all the possibilities that are offered along the way. Which is sometimes… eye opening.


Earlier in mid January, I came across 2 articles/blog posts – that gave me a brilliant idea.

APPLY! (so I did)

So what on earth have I applied to?

One application is for a summer sabbatical in Grottole Italy. OMGosh, I have visions of me as an Italian version of Belle in Beauty and the Beast… singing in a quaint village. There’s hills, red wine, olive groves, bees and sunflower fields, some guy named Andrea that is hosting this thing, oh and nonna Rosa- who will teach me how to make pasta athentico! It would be an entire summer drenched in the Italian sun. Wishful thinking, but dreams can come true. Only 4 people out of like 30K applicants will be selected.

Have I mentioned any where that 4 is my lucky number?

Grottole, Italy

Around the same time, I read about a TAP (Travel Access Project) Gap Year grant. This is a $3K grant to be given to 10 selected applicants. This project is open to anyone regardless of age or student status… so why the heck not! The money can be used towards a travel project of my choice. Of course if all the stars are aligned and I were to be selected for BOTH– well then that would be like winning the lottery for sure. If Grottole isn’t meant to be, then I’d use the TAP for a family trip to DC in the fall.

Even my abundance and manifesting mentality is shared by Josh. He’s sent in his Ycomb application, and this time he’s doing it solo! I was so surprised, proud and amazed with his application video. This time, it just feels right. (Third time’s a charm.) My fingers, toes and eyes are crossed that he will be selected for the interview and be offered funding this session. Of course it would mean he would be in California for the summer, working on his platform, business and product… but how amazing would THAT be? Josh would finally be building his company!!! (p.s. I KINDA miss palm trees and the salty sea air.) #S2019

Yesterday, a possible PT job opportunity was offered. Pay is more than minimum wage, and I’d be working around 15- 18 hours a week. This position would be 2 or 3 days a week, from 2:30-8:30pm. I’d be missing dinner time and stuff, and I would have to tighten up my availability and schedule for EVERYTHING else in life. That extra money would mean paying off the SUV even sooner. I’m definitely considering it. But if it doesn’t work out with scheduling, it’s not a big deal.

I wasn’t looking for a job, but maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? SO I’m remaining open to all options and possibilities. I have a few new projects that I have begun and right now I’m considering everything. Wondering how I can best manage my time to do everything.

Grottole and TAP and Ycomb – should they ALL happen – would be great gifts from the universe. Wouldn’t that be FABULOUS? It would a “pazzo serendipitous trifecta!”

What a life changing summer it could be for us all.

Until then, I have 4 months of staying focused on life, budget, goals and yes, dreams. <3

Abundance Mentality

OK, so I’m LOVING the Ariana Grande song 7 Rings.

Of course, I love to sing along; And knowing all the words help. The lyrics speak to the tune of having money to get whatever you want, whenever you want it.

“I see it, I like it. I want it, I got it.”

Now I’m not looking to have a philosophical entry on the song itself, or even the message it might be sending. I didn’t write it. But I really do like her song. <3

“Whoever said money can’t solve your problems

must not have had enough money to solve them.”

In a way, the song sings the praises of HAVING. IT. ALL.

living a sweet life,
sugar cookie with edible glitter

Well, I’ve been doing my own version of just that and applying an “abundance mentality.” At the beginning of 2019, I decided to refocus how I perceive things… So don’t mind me, I’m just the girl wearing rose colored glasses, wearing a big smile on my face at the moment.

I’ve decided to choose what light to see things in. For instance, our 2019 financial goal is to PIF my SUV by the end of the year. That’s right, I don’t want to be paying on it come 2020. Let me inform you that for the record, we have 3 years left on the loan to pay on my vehicle.

That’s right! We’re half way through my loan term for my SUV, and determined to pay this thing off FAST. So fast that we’re getting 3+ years of payments done in ONE year.

So when I see things that I like and I want, instead of thinking, “I can’t afford that.” or “That’s too expensive!” or even, “It’s not in my budget this month.” I just rephrase my response and shift my thinking to: “I’m focusing on paying off my car first.”

By doing this, I’m viewing my actions of making multiple payments on my loan, as something positive, something that I’m CHOOSING to do. It becomes a focused action, and a priority. Not something negative and dreadful. This way of thinking has also helped with evaluating all of our household spending.

For me, part of having an abundance mentality is to “live the best life possible in the best way possible.” It means making decisions to increase our overall wellness and happiness. One thing we did in the beginning of 2019, was 2 major purchases… new mattresses for our beds. (Mine was 20 years old, it was time!) and we upgraded our living room. As Ariana said, “I got it.” Now that those few creature comforts have been secured, and paid for, back to the task at hand.

Now HOW is this going to be accomplished? Well, one part is hard work, thanks to Josh. He’s the one that makes it all happen. He works constantly, for our money; my job is to make the money work for us. So, the second part to the equation, is the budget, which is my responsibility. I have our entire financial year planned out. It’s a collective effort that we’re all on board for, as a family.

By taking the budget, and “finding” as much extra or left over money as possible, we should be able to hit our 2019 goal.

Sure, I won’t be going on shopping sprees, and partaking in retail therapy/ or retail addiction like Ariana, (LOL) but that doesn’t mean that I’m missing out.

Within our budget, there’s actually a little bit of fun money for each of us every month. Doing completely without can lead to a lot of rebellious overspending over time.

So far all left over cash is put towards the car loan, once everything is paid off and the spreadsheet shows we have money available to allocate to additional car payments. Between the past 2 months, January and February, there’s already been 3 additional payments towards the principal balance on the loan! YAY US! 🙂

One of my tricks, is staying out of the grocery store if at all possible, during the last week of the month. I basically have made some interesting “feasts” that I lovingly call a “make it work meal” – that I serve with my rose colored glasses and a big smile. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at some of the things we’ve come up with. Creativity in the kitchen.

This is just a way for me to find some extra money to throw at the loan. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. And as we keep chipping away at the loan, it will decrease. Which I see as such a positive thing.

So it’s all on your personal POV – maybe you too can begin living in an abundance mentality. Come join me!

These are a few of my favorite things!

I thought for this week’s post I’d make a little list of the things I love. Definitely in the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day.

With that, Happy V’day. I love that you’re reading this!

So in absolutely no particular order, here are some THINGS that I love:

  • the way the air smells, just before it rains
  • the sound of the kiddo laughing or singing
  • snapdragons, the flowers… I like making them talk
  • the Starry Night by VanGogh
  • dark chocolate, that’s right I like my chocolate bittersweet
  • things that smell like lavender, vanilla or coconut
  • mac and cheese
  • car rides with LP, and our little talks
  • nice pajamas or loungewear
  • when josh makes dinner, especially his marsala chicken or general chicken
  • the sound of the beach- waves and seagulls
  • when Thumper, my pug, puts his nose on the back of my leg
  • a bottle of decent red wine
  • singing in the shower
  • makeup
  • candles candles candles
  • WDW
  • sunsets or pretty cotton candy colored skies
  • mint tea
  • watching the clouds in the air
  • sofa cuddles with Sebastian, my other pug
  • the shapes of trees
  • being on a ship or boat
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • late night chats about life and goals with the boy
  • the sound of snoring pugs
  • LP’s hand massage, makes me sleepy
  • medium rare steak, because I’m trying to be healthier but would rather it rare
  • thunderstorms
  • angel hair pasta
  • singing in the car with LP
  • tacos aren’t just for tuesday’s
  • fluffy socks
  • lucky brand blue jeans
  • wind chimes
  • watching the kiddo dance in the house
  • cheese, i like cheese
  • makeup paletts
  • fresh cut grass on a summer day
  • the thought of traveling the world once day with my family
  • quiet moments at night
  • making lists, with different colored pens and sticky notes
  • antiques, I like furniture, old style wood furniture
  • painting
  • laughing fits with the family
  • good Bourbon -like Jefferson’s Reserve Pritchard Hill Cabernet Cask Finished Bourbon
  • Christmas lights, and trees any time of the year lit with white lights
  • Classical music, I just love flutes and violins
  • family DANCE PARTY – LOL

SO yeah, just a list of some of the things that when I encounter or experience them, they make me smile.

Of course there’s more, but I thing my list represents a piece of what I find to be special.

Review of Imperfect Produce

I love shopping for groceries. Is that weird? Maybe it’s because I have 2 amazing H-E-B grocery stores near my house. (People in TX know what I’m talking about.)

But what does that all have to do with Imperfect Produce?

Well, back in December, a new home delivery service became available in my area and I had to check it out.

Meet Imperfect Produce!

As per the about page on ImperfectProduce.com – “More than 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in America never make it off the farm because they aren’t perfect enough for grocery store standards.”

I decided to give Imperfect Produce a try, as a way to get out of the box with our weekly meal prep. By using Imperfect, I’m selecting surplus and imperfect items, that saves us a bit of ca$h, while also utilizing “ugly” fruits and veggies.


What I like about Imperfect Produce:

  • I get to pre-select what I will receive in my box (based on availability) so I can customize the contents and the size of my box, and plan our week of meals.
  • I can select how often I receive a delivery: weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
  • The shipping fee is a flat $4.99! That’s less expensive than getting a pizza delivered!
  • It exposes me to items I didn’t know I wanted! LOL
my small box included: broccoli, shallots, sweet potatoes, apples, zucchini, carrots, red pepper, tomatoes, and pears.

There’s always something that catches my eye when “building my box” for delivery. That’s usually a fruit of veggie that I wouldn’t normally gravitate to, but it makes me source a recipe to do something different for dinner.

The prices seem in line with what I’d pay at my grocery store, and some items are even less expensive! This was an actual small box- as selected by IP. The total charge was 17.99 ($13 + $4.99 delivery fee.)

The only down-side has been getting some fruits and veggies that are not always “normal” size. But that’s half the fun. One box I received 2 onions, that we’re “odd shaped” but really they were just gigantic onions. Like each onion was the size of 2 large onions. Another time we received broccoli that was on the small side, and garlic heads that were missing the paper, but that was actually awesome, less peeling.

What’s great is when customizing your delivery box, you know WHY the produce was considered “Imperfect” either due to size or shape, tree or branch scarring, insect damage, or surplus items. So you can choose accordingly, and know why your items are deemed imperfect.

Imperfect Produce is not available in all areas yet, however they do have a sign-up list. This helps them to decide which market areas are interested in using their service.

So, if you eat food, like fruits and veggies, want to try something different or looking for convenience, click on my link and check them out.

I don’t get paid for this review, however if you use my link, I may be eligible for a referral bonus, and you’ll save $10 on your first box! Sounds like a win-win situation to me. 🙂