Some Advice On Investing

Every year it seems that I get the bug to keep writing the same worn out version of a novel that just doesn’t sit write anymore. Somehow it just doesn’t feel right pencilling the life of a teen obsessed with vampires without cringing.

I’m considering some writing workshops. Not the free kind.

the cheapskate in me just died a little

The kind where I pay money to communicate with people who are truly interested and passionate about what they do.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of “investing in myself”.

It’s rough.

Not only am I coming to terms with the idea that I don’t totally suck, but also that I have some worth. It’s hard to see it because I don’t feel like I do much with it. Sometimes I feel like an antique just sitting on a shelf, enjoyed by the few who appreciate it, but otherwise ignored. Maybe it is time to stop ignoring myself though?

“Invest in yourself” is a code of self love. For people like myself it is hard to accept and it is often confused with another word that invokes more negative inner dialogue. Selfishness.

The truth is that self love is not selfishness.

Selfishness is not caring about anyone but ourself.
Self love is caring about ourself so we can better care for others.

So I’m going to invest in myself a bit I think. This means time for myself more. This means money for myself occasionally.

Invest in myself so that I can reap some kind of personal abundance that can overflow to those around me. I don’t want my glass half empty or half full, I want it to be overflowing.

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Self-respect and inferiority complexes

I’ve always wished I could be an artist. I enjoy doodling, but even in elementary school I found that I couldn’t keep from comparing my works with the works of my peers and feeling inferior. I remember being told that if I joined band that I wouldn’t have to take art in middle school, it was a huge relief because then I could have something I was good at.

Instead it was one more thing that I found myself constantly comparing with my peers and I was still feeling inferior.

Inferiority is destructive and it can halt progress quicker than any other force in my experience. This ditch it way of living has left me a bit unfulfilled as a 23 year old. That isn’t even the worst part. It has left me bitter and encouraged me to constantly tear myself down and to tear others down.

It also has attributed to years of false humility.

You are not being humble just because you tear yourself down and beat yourself up. You are being a bully! A bully to yourself. To who you are. To who you want to be.

And more than likely this causes you to bully others. Maybe it is subtle, but still you find yourself lashing out.

Replace “you” and “yourself” with “I” and “myself”.

Self-respect
not
Self-loathing

It is time to stop measuring my abilities based on the abilities of those around me. It is time to start loving what I do and start doing what I love.

It just feels like it is time for me to stop apologizing for not measuring up to standards that no one has put on place besides myself.

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This Year

It’s June.

This year has flown by and I blame that beautiful little boy that is sitting on the other side of the room.  What do I want out of this year?  The rest of this fast paced year.  I realized though that it would be best if I did a little reflecting on the awesome things that have happened this year first.

  • We moved into our own house.  This was such a blessing and so huge that sometimes I can’t even sit and dwell on it.  It’s so overwhelming.  We are so lucky.
  • Aedan went fishing with his dad.
  • I learned more about gardening and Andrew did it mostly, but I’ve helped a little here and there with it.
  • I’ve maintained about 1-2 blogs a month, which is a lot better than last year.
  • I learned more about being frugal and have actual taken steps towards being more frugal.
  • I have cooked more fresh and whole food in our home than any other year in our marriage.
  • My little brother got married and left for basic training, leaving a pretty cool sister-in-law here with us for a while until she leaves for basic training in a few months.
  • My new nephew was born and I love him so much.  I love seeing my beautiful sister in him and I love that my son gets to grow up with lots of cousins.
  • I shot a bow for the first time and I totally love it.
  • We started raising chickens.  We have six beauties who know their momma pretty well.

Let’s be honest, this is kind of a watered down short version of the many things that have taken place.  There is a lot more and will be a lot more.

What are things you’ve done this year so far?

So what do I wish for the rest of the year?

I wish to…

  • …cook from the garden.
  • …learn to weld.
  • …make soap.
  • …make a candle.
  • …paint my kitchen.
  • …organize my kitchen.
  • …knit a scarf.
  • …branch out and blog more.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …embrace who I am and who I will be.
  • …enjoy my time and spend it well.

What are your wishes for the rest of the year?

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Ideas for a Cool Summer

Circulate Cool Air

One negative aspect of our new home is that we are without an air conditioner.  Okay, this is probably a bit misleading.  There are a few window A/C’s that are available, but we would prefer not needing to use them.  We are lucky because our basement is cool and dark unfinished dirt and concrete room.  This makes for very cool air.

We’ve started using a fan to push the basement air throughout our house, which was actually an idea that I got from a great book entitled Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century.

Basically the idea is to utilize the cooler parts of your home, but don’t forget that at night you should utilize the cooler air outside.  Anytime it is cooler outside than in your home, use your windows!  This may seem like common sense, but sometimes we all could use reminders.

Cook Slower and Cooler

We finally got our slow cooker back from my mom about a month ago.  It took a long time because previously our small apartments had absolutely no room for the bulky thing.  Now we have counter space and storage space.  I’ve made a few bulk batches of things including french onion soup, some black beans & rice, and some chicken stock.  I totally noticed how much easier it was to add these ingredients to the slow cooker and then walk away and I didn’t notice that my kitchen was warmer than normal.

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

Don’t Cook

I have eaten tomato soup out of the can before, but that is the closest I’ve gotten to the next tip.  Don’t cook.

I totally get this tip, because I eat salad quite a bit.  Our garden has proven to be an incredible place to harvest veggies that can be immediately washed, cut, and then eaten.  Salads can become boring and bland after a while though.

Enter Cold Soups and Gazpacho’s.

The idea is simple – fresh ingredients are blended together and then chilled.  Here are some recipe links:

New York Times – Cold Soups
Soup Song
Allrecipes Best Cold Soup Recipes

Have you ever tried a cold soup or gazpacho?  What is your favorite recipe?  Is there one you’d like to try?

Take a Cold Shower

Nope, I am not joking.  I have a group of ladies I am in a group with on Facebook who really made me consider this option.  A few of them said they couldn’t take really hot showers because they would overheat.  This is pretty crazy for a girl who grew up with those scalding types of showers, I just figured that was normal.

My little brother started suggesting gradually cooler showers after he watched an episode of Dr. Oz.

1. Supercharge Your Metabolism: 5-Minute Deep Freeze

By taking a cold shower anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, you can jumpstart your metabolism. That’s because cold temperature activates brown fat, the fat-burning fat tissue in your bodythat burns energy to keep you warm. When taking a cold shower, you may experience some shivering, which indicates that you’re using energy to keep your body temperature up.

Try taking a quick shower in the morning or night. Start with 2 minutes of warm water to get your body temperature up, then switch to cold and work toward keeping the water temperature under 60 degrees. Over time, your body will become less sensitive to this drop in temperature.

I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it has been really amazing how good I feel after a shower now.  I used to damage my skin with hot showers.  I’d get out of the shower with hot spots all over my back and the bathroom would be muggy and warm.  Now my body feels cool when I leave the shower but there is no shock that used to come from leaving a hot shower into a cooler room.  I feel so much more temperate and alert.

What are your tips for maintaining a cooler home in the summer?

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Home Improvement

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We finally started some major renovations and changes to our home. The above is our very large pantry that was previously an old worn out white color. Our whole marriage we have been in love with the idea of a black, red, and white kitchen theme.

After the fourth coat of paint, I’ll do all the trim in the pantry black. My idea is that our cabinets will be red with black trim. The wall will have black and white backsplash and then will be white on top w white ceiling and then on the bottom I think maybe a red.

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The garden is amazing. My husband is amazing.

I harvested some leaf lettuce today. Our sugar snap peas are shooting up so quick. The kohlrabi and cabbage are getting big. Our tomato plants has quarter sized tomatoes on them. The squash and zucchini are small, but are growing quickly. Our corn is about waist high for me now. We have runner beans that are looking good too.

What are some home improvement goals you’d like to accomplish this summer?

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I’m Proud of You

(Donnie’s Graduation 2011)

I’m pretty terrible at communicating my feelings.  I think because I communicate with way too many feelings and emotions.  Things that are heartfelt come off as disingenuous because I have some terrible joke that makes everything awkward (thanks dad) or as incomprehensible because I become a blubbering mess of tears (thanks mom).

So tomorrow I’m either going to make myself sound like an ass or I’ll cry my eyes out when I give my brother a hug goodbye as he leaves for basic training.  I’m coming to accept that probably, at least for a good long time, we won’t get to spend much time together.

Instead of whining and crying about it right now, I just want to take the time to say that I am very proud of him.  My brother is a really great guy and I am so glad he is my brother.  He’s been an awesome uncle, brother, and when I’ve needed him a great friend too.  I’ll miss my occasional break from mommyhood playing video games (i.e. him kicking my ass at Call of Duty).  I know that good things are going to happen for him and I am so excited for his future.

As it goes, I will hopefully get to know his equally great wife before she ships out to basic training in October.

So basically I love my brother and I’m really proud of him.

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I’ve Been A Busy Bee

I keep telling myself that I have a lot going on.  I started catching myself blaming Aedan, but honestly, I think I made myself feel that way before him.  I’ve been a busy bee… well… maybe a busy queen bee.

Is watching movies and sitting in the backyard busy work?  Ha, if only it was!  Then I wouldn’t have to constantly catch myself being lazy.

I was reading about time management and how many people in our society is desperate for it.  We all feel like we have too much going on for the fun and important things in life.  One method of calculating the time we really have to spend is by keeping notes on what we are doing with our time every day.

Do it.

Are you working non-stop and have no downtime?  Start to whittle down your schedule.  If you don’t have moments to be creative, to read a book, to sit in the sun, or whatever it is that gives you a moment to breath – shift your schedule open by saying “No” or by choosing to do things in an efficient manner.

Or are you like me?  Finding that downtime seems to take up most of your time?  Maybe our schedules are so *free* that we are trapped by the nothingness.  Personally, I feel like that is where I’m at right now.  I think it’s easy to compare it when people come into large sums of money and somehow manage to blow it.  Before they realize it, they are actually broke and in debt.  Sometimes time can be the same way, we feel like we have so much of it because we aren’t making sound choices.

Every minute of the day is like a dollar bill waiting to be spent on something that makes our life fulfilled and happy or spent on something that means nothing and adds nothing positive to our lives.

So if you had to spend your time like money, what would you spend it on?

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