Howdy ya’ll!

My humble posting ground has been uprooted and moved over to!!!  That’s right–it’s officially it’s own web address!!

For most recent everything along with posts from yesterday and all of the past, please go there and check it out!!

Can’t wait to hear from YOU!!  🙂

–The Mrs.

This ain’t easy.

November 4, 2010

One of my goals to check off my list before my quarter century birthday is to make this here blog  a little more exciting.

As it turns out, this move is not an easy one!

I thought I could just click a couple of buttons, pay a fee or two here and there, and voila!  New blog!

Uh, sorry Charlie, not quite so easy.

Right now I’m hunting down a good option for me to use as a hosting website.

In the mean time, Violet is building me a new theme!  WOO!

So, I’m kind of lacking on the creativity right now and I’m going to fully blame that on my obsession with the technical aspect of making this blog a little more fun!

Bear with me….I promise I’ll have a more exciting post in the near future!

Taking Challenges.

November 3, 2010

So, what makes you go to work everyday?  The paycheck?  The habit?

What about school?  What makes you desire having more education?

For me, it’s the challenge.  The more someone tells me I can’t do something, the more I want to prove them wrong (even if I’m the one telling myself I can’t do it).

Currently, I’m not being challenged at work.  Now, it’s no fault of anyone’s in particular with the economy the way it is, but frankly, it’s annoying.

I think one of the reasons I can’t quit going to school is because there is a big challenge in managing going to school and working full-time.  It’s just not easy.

I’m not sure I even know how to do something the easy way (unless it’s something like the dishes in which I do them as quickly as possible because I hate them!).  I like to learn, I like to make things better and more efficient.

Lately it’s been more and more apparent that I’m not stepping up to the challenge plate–especially at work.  So I’m changing that.

Yesterday I attended a forum for an HR initiative that I could’ve easily sat out, but the challenge there was to get out of my box and away from my daily humdrum.

Today, I’m having a meeting with a Senior VP within the company about my thesis paper.  I’m not sure what’ll come of it, but I hope something worthwhile.  Even if it’s just  a high five!

Tomorrow, well, I’m not doing anything special (yet), but I’m going to keep presenting my boss with the initiatives to find new things for me to do that get me outside of my daily humdrum box.  I’m highly educated and quite gifted in certain areas and it’s high time I start proving it.

Budget Progress!

November 2, 2010

We all know that Casa Windows has been run by a very lose “budget” up until this point.  Our budget was spend, spend, spend..then figure it out.  Naturally, this wasn’t allowing us to save our money nearly as efficiently as we could have been.

When I decided to develop this budget I made a few key decisions that would make it easier for me to wrap my head around it.

First of all, this isn’t a business and we don’t work on a month-to-month or annual accounting schedule.  We get paid every two weeks.  So, I decided that I would set up our budget to go for two paychecks–or 28 days.  This is pretty close to a month.  It’s also how we pay our bills–each paycheck has certain bills that get allotted to it even before we had a budget.

So, our first round of budgeting started on October 14th and will end on November 10.

This has been CRUCIAL to me being able to understand this budgeting habit I’m trying to establish.  Without having the budget work this way, I’d have to divvy up our dinero by day and then month and frankly, that’s just moving outside of what works for us.

In the event that you’d like to start budgeting–this is my biggest tip for you–find a date range that works for you!  If you get paid monthly and establish your spending that way, do it that way.  If you get paid bi-weekly on a certain day of the week, set your budget up like we did.  It all depends on how you break up your spending!  This is the primary reason I never budgeted.  I just couldn’t make sense out of the fact that I got paid bi-weekly, but paid all of my bills monthly.  The fact of the matter is that I still paid all of those bills on a monthly basis, but certain bills were paid with certain paychecks.

So, on my budget, I have listed all of our reoccurring bills:

  • Mortgages 1, 2, and 3
  • Cars 1 and 2
  • Student Loan
  • Insurance (we pay our car insurance every 6 months, but I move the monthly amount into savings so I know we’ll have it when it’s time to pay it)
  • Cell Phones
  • Entertainment–Netflix and Internet
  • Water and Sewer (our tenant at Gilbert pays this, so we only pay 1 bill)
  • Electric 1 and 2
  • Gas 1 and 2
  • Trash and recycling (we pay this quarterly, so I move this to savings as well until we make the payment)
  • Life Insurance
  • Savings–emergency/regular and vacation
  • Misc Spending (fun money–this includes hair cuts, clothes, video games, baby shower throwing, etc.)

ALL of our reoccurring spending equates to about 87% of our income.  Granted, our “fun money” may change depending on what we are doing–we may save it one month to buy a more expensive item, etc.  But for the most part, this is all pretty solid.

The other 13% of the budget is allotted to groceries, going out to movies (we do this at least once a month), gas for the vehicles, eating out, and gifts for other people.

My biggest success with this is the amount of money we’re able to save every month now.  It’s still not as much as I’d like it to be, but it’s A LOT more than what we were doing before.  With the amounts I have in there now, it’s about 14% of our budget that we’re putting into savings.  I’d like for it to be more like 25%, but that will come with time.

So far our budget has served us well enough that I’ve already established a new spreadsheet for the next 2 paychecks (also, the next 28 days which I’ve decided is close enough to a month).

Do you have a budget?!  If you do, what’s your key to success??

If you have any specific questions for me, feel free to comment on this post or email me at kari_s {at} hotmail {dot} com!

Today begins my journey of becoming Dr. Windows.

My first day of class is today.  While I technically won’t be going to class at all, I do have assignments to complete.

My first assignment, a contrasting scholarly paper based on business ethics perspectives of two journal articles, is nearly complete.  I hope to turn it in today or tomorrow so that I can start on my second assignment.

In this class, I’ll write 11 papers in varying lengths on topics relative to business ethics.

Each assignment requires at least eight peer-reviewed sources.

My first assignment isn’t due until November 14, but my adviser recommended that I get a head start while I can since the holidays are coming up–and I agree.

So, let’s get this bus rolling on down the highway!!!

Diggin’ up the past.

October 29, 2010

There is every potential to learn something new–and potentially something you didn’t want to know–about me in this post.  So read with caution.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven new-to-you things.

October 28, 2010

I was tagged with this by Nodakademic:

So, in keeping up with the fun, I’m going to play along!

The rules are to tag 5 other blogs and to tell you seven things about myself that you might not already know.  So, here goes.

My five:

Laura Lou at The Luckiest in Love
Shelly at A Full Serving
Chelsea at Roots and Rings
Natalie at The Bobby Pin (whose blog I fully intend to get to know better!)
Emily at Early Emily (whom I hope will actually BLOG someday!!)

Now, onto my 7 little-known-facts…

1. I love tomatoes.  A lot.  I could eat tomatoes and nothing else for the rest of my life.

2. My first car, a 1994 Dodge Stealth, sent me into tears more than any other person or object in my life.  I was severely attached to that car.  Every time it was broken, I cried.  When I was rear ended and it was totaled, my best friend thought someone had died because of how hysterical I was.  Today, it’s happily being completely restored by a 17-year-old who shares the same birthday as me.  Fate, my friends.

3. If I can hear you eating or drinking, I probably want to scream at you.  I HATE the sound of people eating and drinking.  It makes my skin crawl.

4. If I hardly know you, it’s likely that I won’t use the bathroom at your house or accept your offer of drinks and food.  I’m highly uncomfortable with accepting things from other people or using their personal space.  I’m always amazed at people who come to my house and go straight to my fridge or bathroom without so much as a wink.  Yes, I know we’re all human and have needs–I just tend to put my discomfort before my needs.

5. I suck at friendships.  I try really hard, but I’m just not very good at being a friend sometimes.

6. Last night, I went to a corn maze with my mom and 3 other women (and 1 ten-year-old boy) whom I’m not SUPER close with, but still had an amazing time.  It was so much fun!

7. My blog post for tomorrow is a big deal.  It’s personal, honest, and a big deal.  I believe in always remembering how you came to be the person that you are so that you can appreciate today, so in light of that, I’m sharing with you one of my biggest regrets.


October 27, 2010

Ok, this post is about my kitchen.

No, we don’t have granite counter tops–I wish!  Frankly, there’s no way we would ever recuperate that expenditure, so we took an alternative route on that one (post to come!), but just so that I could say I have granite in my kitchen–and because, obviously, I love it–the kitchen sink we chose is one that is made of granite.

We purchased this sink at Menards (our house is a living, breathing Menards ad!), and I believe in it was in the neighborhood of $230 or so.  I didn’t look at or price any other sinks because this one had it all!  It wasn’t ceramic or stainless steel (nothing against those materials–just not my preference in this case!), it had a contemporary look to dress up the kitchen, and it was affordable.

The left side of the sink is 9″ deep and the right side is 7″ deep.

Some people have asked me if it stains, marks, or anything else…well, after more than a year of abusing it (hello, I decorate wedding cakes–pink food coloring stains EVERYTHING!), I can gladly say that not a stain can be found!  Sometimes it does look a little dirty, but it’s nothing that a little 3-minute scrub with Comet can’t cure.

The faucet is Delta brand.  I believe it was in $150 and we purchased it at Lowes.  I wanted two three things: a pull-out design (check!) and a matching soap dispenser (check!)…oh, and the price had to be less than $200 (check!).

I adore the soap dispenser.  It’s soooo easy to use and way prettier than a bottle of soap sitting on the sink!  The faucet is perfect because I use it to fill up my Brita pitcher and must have something that will reach (I hate putting the pitcher in the sink to refill it).

Overall, I’m super, super happy with this addition to our kitchen.  In the beginning of the remodel, the kitchen was supposed to be mostly left as is.  It just goes to show you how things can change!!

While I’m showing you this, please take notice of two things: my awesome, awesome back splash that I couldn’t live without and my under cabinet lighting–another non-negotiable item in the kitchen.  Posts on those things to come!

Also, don’t discriminate against my ugly window trim that desperately needs to be scraped and repainted…I’d gladly allow anyone who is handy and willing to come over and tackle that project for me!

Blog Sprucing.

October 26, 2010

I’m not a techie.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft Office and I are BFFs-4-life.  Seriously.

But when it comes to making this here blog more unique beyond typing up stories about my own life, I’m completely out of my realm.

One of my goals of my 25-by-25 is to make this blog a little more exciting.

So, this is my plea…help!  Does anyone know of any good websites, want to throw in some of their own help, or have any suggestions of what I should do??

It doesn’t need to be fancy or overdone.  Just fun and maybe a little more unique.  I do love all of the white space on the homepage, so I want to keep that as much as possible, but I know I could use a personalized header and maybe I could add some more pages.

K, I’ll be waiting for suggestions.  🙂

Ok, in May of 2011 I will be 25.  It’s getting closer and closer.  It’s the next major age-related milestone in my life.

I’ve never been a goal setting kind of person.  I generally aim high and hit my target nearly every time, but this is my personality.  It’s not something that I’ve ever had to work at, so I typically don’t consider it goal setting.  I blame it on being so darn stubborn.

Anyhow, I’ve seen over and over when people make lists like these and I thought I’d give it a shot.  Other than at work this is the first time I’ve ever written down typed out any of my goals.

Now, I only have about 7 months to accomplish this list, so these goals might seem a little superficial in some ways–and yes, I’ve already accomplished a couple of them or am almost there, but they’re a big deal to me right now!  So, here’s my first attempt at setting some goals for myself and applying some (gasp!) limitations.  Maybe I’ll dream up a prize for myself if I actually stick to all of this and get it done.  Me and limitations are not always the best of friends!

I plan on updating this page as I go along and complete these things.  I’m sure I’ll make update posts, too!  For now, read on and see what I’ve already accomplished and what I’m planning to do next!

Here goes:

1. Complete master’s degree. Completed on August 25, 2010!!  I officially am a Master in Leadership and Management!
2. Apply to doctoral program. Beginning November 1, 2010, I will be attending Northcentral University to obtain my PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.
3. Refinance house so that all debt is on one mortgage (instead of two).
4. Get down to ONE car payment.
5. Purchase life insurance policy for both Mr. & Mrs. Windows. Done!  We’re both heavily insured and saving for our retirement now!
6. Sell the Gilbert House.
7. Finish blogging about the remodel on the ugly house.
8. Take Ralphie and Andre for walk at the downtown riverwalk.
9. Lose weight.  I’m good with any amount, even if it’s just a pound.
10. Visit family in the South.
11. Clean up my office (seriously, it’s tornadic in there).
12. Develop a monthly budget and stick to it.  Halfway there on this one!  I’ve made the budget and so far so good!
13. Hug Mr. Windows everyday for a month (believe it or not, I hate am extrememly uncomfortable with hugging people!).
14. Try a new church.
15. Finish cleaning out the garage so that a car will fit in it.
16. Seek out greater opportunities at work.
17. Make the bed everyday for a week.
18. Hook laptop up to gigantic TV/monitor in office and sit on loveseat to work.
19. Figure out how to get a nifty background on this here blog.
20. Don’t crash new computer (seriously, if this were a job, I’d be rich because I’m SO good at killing computers).
21. Get out the Writer’s, Inc. book and learn something new about the english language.
22. Go to the YMCA everyday for a month.
23. Eat at a vegetarian restaurant.
24. Organize hallway linen closet.
25. Quit baking cakes…at least while I’m in school. I officially retired from cake baking with the exclusion of cupcakes. Piece-A-Cake Confections is now solely providing cupcakes!

So, there you have it!  My 25 by 25.  I’m making a good start here…here’s hoping I can make an even better finish!