Friday, July 30, 2010

July happiness project

So, for July I have been working on a few things. One is prayer. I having been working on being more diligent and recognizing more answers to prayers. I have had a few really spiritual experiences and have learned a lot. One involved a prompting, being in the right place to help someone out, a broken down car and a prayer answered that it would be fixed. There have been others, it is really amazing to open up your eyes and your heart and see the miracles and blessings that surround you. I have also had several private spiritual experiences just feeling the peace and quiet assurance of the spirit. Knowing that Heavenly Father loves me, that he is there, that he sent his son to die for us, what bigger miracle can one ask for.

My second goal of the month was to work on learning what to do with our money. Last year we were able to get out of the debt we had dug ourselves into. It took a lot of work and a lot of prayer. But, we were blessed with being able to repay our debtors. Since that time we have kept saying and thanks to saving and a tax return, we were able to have some money. I realized that the interest rates were not good right now, so keeping it in the bank didn't seem like the best idea. So, I decided to step up to the plate and learn more about the ole stock market. Now, we didn't put all of our money into the market, but at least some of it has the chance to earn some interest. So, I choose some stocks and the week I happened to start buying stocks they all took a pretty big plunge, so I was able to do the buy low part of the ole saying rather quickly. So, with a little advice from my dad and google. I was able to find some good solid stocks. Granted there is still risk, but I think that the choices we have made are solid. Because of this whole experience I have decided to go back to school in Sept. I will take one class at a time and work toward getting a certificate in finance. The first class is business statistics, wish me luck!

Next month, I have two things I am going to be working on to prepare for the fall. I realize that I will not be having as discretionary time, with taking a class, so I have decided to get somethings in order now. I will be putting together a index card box with our favorite meal ideas, so that at the beginning of the week I can just grab 7 cards and have planned the menu for the week. Also, and now this isn't something needed for the fall, but for a long time now, I have been irritated with how we have our digital pictures stored. All of our pictures are saved in files named things like 'pics', 'pictures', 'big ole file of pics' etc. Each individual file only has the number it is given from the camera. There is no organization. So my goal is to try and label and sort them. Now, I am not so sure I will get through all of them, but, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, as they say. So, who knows I may be able to put quite a dent in it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June Happiness Project

June's happiness project goal of decorating our home has gone much more smoothly. Ever since the day it was pointed out to my blissfully unaware eyes that our home was, pretty much COMPLETELY bare. It has been a point of frustration. So, I had been thinking over ideas for a long while in my head on this one. Warning, I am not, nor have I ever been into decorating so don't expect too much, I was just going for things that are to our taste.

My first project was Drew's computer room. It was a graduation/ Father's day present. We had a budget of 100 gbp to complete the room. I sewed him a set of curtains. They were the first set I have ever sewn I didn't use a pattern but they turned out well, if I do say so myself! I think they ran us a total of about 15 gbp. We also purchased some picture frames from Ikea which ran us about 18 gbp. The pictures inside were purchased for family pictures but even if I include the price of the photos which was about 30 GBP, it puts us well under budget. Problem with the pictures and frames was that we had american sized pictures and british sized frames grrrr. Solution? a few crafty embellishments made from old craft material odds and ends, which I am not including in the price as I have no recollection of how much it cost. Another piece Anna and I added to the room was an abstract piece of art in a frame my sister gave us for Christmas. The artwork is made out of lipstick. I would have to say the project was a bit more of my work than Anna's as Anna was using the opportunity to put makeup on her feet, which as everyone is well aware of is where it goes. But when you think about it, putting it on feet or paper are both equally outside the box, so why not, right? Being a total of 63 GBP, result? Enough money left to buy a much wanted video game (bonus father's day gift!) and plenty to spare. I am also trying to figure out how to use some of the fabric from the curtains to make a light shade for the over head light, we shall see on that one. I don't want to start any fires, so I have been a little hesitant there. I was also a bit distracted by Anna's birthday!

The pictures of the curtains are not so great, they really do look nice.

Project two, our bedroom. Another budget of 100 gbp. We purchased a nice 3 sectioned picture of a rose, very large for 12 gbp. Then, we purchased a fitted sheet (8gbp) and a duvet cover and pillow cases (28 gbp). We put the cream colored blanket my mother had given me a few years back on the bed as well. We took out the large blue panda blanket we had been using. It is very warm and comfortable and now resides in Anna's room more or less folded up at the foot of her bed. Today I put up a picture project I had made after our trip to Paris last summer. It had been sitting around waiting for somewhere to go. I am not sure how much it cost, but it was well under 10 gbp. We took off one of the sets of curtains. I know that you are wondering why we had more than one set of curtains. Well, we are cheap, and we live in England. The curtains that came on the house we rent here fit alright but just about fit exactly to the size of the window. The problem? Last week sunset was at about 11 pm and sunrise was at around 3:30 (no joke). So we needed another set of curtains (our set from the states) that was long enough to block out some of the light. They were not wide enough for the window. So we ended up having a pair of patchwork blue curtains covered by a shorter and wider set of brown curtains. NOT attractive. Solution? We purchased some blackout roller shades from Ikea that you can cut to fit the window (23 gbp). We got rid of the blue curtains and the brown curtains remain where they were when we rented the place. I might add I did not make new curtains for this room because the ones that are here fit in very nicely with how the room has come together. Now, I want to get one of two more things for our other bare wall, but I have not yet seen anything to catch my eye. So far for this room totals 81 gbp.