Pulling Off A Great Wedding On A Budget

WeddingQ: From Michael in Colorado, What are ways to save money for a wedding?

Let me just start by saying that weddings are like home improvements. You get the money set aside to install the wood floors in your house, you start the project and three other things come up – outside of the budget. Needless to say, you almost always end up over budget and it may not even be on purpose. Now this is a loaded question Michael, so let me lay out for you how I am going to answer your question in a way that I feel will be most valuable to you, lined with my humble opinions.

Read more: Pulling Off A Great Wedding On A Budget

4 Money Saving Tips For Your Family Road Trip

MP900438719All of us get stuck in the rut of life, not that it is bad, but it is what I like to call the “hamster wheel,” it is good to get off every once in a while, take a deep breath and evaluate.  But how can you evaluate when you are surrounded by laundry that needs to be washed, floors that need to be cleaned and telephone calls that need to be answered.  You really can’t, all of the things around will pull you back onto the hamster wheel, that is why I declare summer as the – Go On A Road Trip Time Of Year!

My favorite part about road trips is that they make me STOP.  I can’t read in the car because I get sick, I can’t get up because I’m strapped down and I am in a contained space with my husband.  Some of our best conversations have been in the car on road trips.  What also makes road trips so fun is that fact that you are on your way to a special place, it may be new or close to your heart, but you are on your way there.  Relaxed yet?  I know I am. 

Read more: 4 Money Saving Tips For Your Family Road Trip

57% of US Workers Have Less Than $25,000…

mp900448669“Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) released Tuesday found 57% of U.S. workers have less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments, excluding their homes.”

Read more:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/03/19/more-than-half-americans-have-less-than-25k-for-retirementwhat-should-do/#ixzz2O1QagaU1

4 Secrets To A Successful Home Sale

By Christine Chiaro, Re/Max Properties

mp900442184There is no mystery to successfully selling a house…

There is no magic advertisement or marketing trick to successfully sell a house.

The answer is so simple, it’s right under our noses…

Read more: 4 Secrets To A Successful Home Sale

Keep Personal and Business Finances Seperate

mp90044221490% of my clients are self-employed, this has offered me the great experience of helping clients not only tackle their personal budgets, but also their business budgets.

Read more: Keep Personal and Business Finances Seperate

The Hamster Wheel of Life

mp900427606

This past weekend, Stephen and I sat down to discuss where we are at in life. We both came to the grim realization that we were stuck – running the wheel of life each day – the same drill each moment – yadah yadah. We all know this cycle. We all have been “stuck” in it at one point or another, or perhaps you are stuck in it now? It is not fun and Stephen and I are bound and determined NOT to live this way – our purpose and passion are TOO great.

Read more: The Hamster Wheel of Life

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 30

mp900402904Gasbuddy.com

Simply amazing. What a cool tool! Plug in your zip code and find the lowest priced gas near you. You can even select the grade that you prefer, check it out:
http://www.gasbuddy.com/

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 29

mp900430677Bundle Travel

Next time you book travel on expedia.com – look at bundling the hotel, car and flight together.  I recently booked a business trip and saved over $200 by simply bundling all three together.  By bundling, I got the same flight, car and hotel – but for LESS!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 28

mp900448490Start Your Own Garden

My husband LOVES to garden and he started his first garden last summer. It was such a treat to go into our backyard and pluck tomatoes right from the vine! I also got spoiled with my parsley, mint and cilantro plants. I cannot believe how much those little packages at the grocery store are!!! So, start thinking about how you might be able to start a garden in your backyard, or perhaps even look at bringing herb plants into your home.

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 28

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 27

26Consignment

I have found an amazing thrift store by my house, I went in there a few months ago and spent $80.  For $80, I got a pair of jeans, several dress up jackets, cute tops (about 3) and a cardigan.  All of these items were also brand name, such as Anne Taylor, Banana Republic, Polo, White House Black Market and Express.  To me, brand name is not about status, because none of these brand names are displayed on the outside of the garment, it is about quality.  I find that brand name lasts longer and tends not to fade as quickly when compared with other brands of clothing.  It is simple, you purchase your new clothes and put them in the wash!  Like New!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 26

25Make It!

I am a sucker for furniture, but the problem with that, is that furniture is expensive!!!  I have found a fun new hobby and that is updating furniture that others might consider trash.  This table with chairs cost us $20.  This table was sitting outside of my neighbors house with paint spatter and chewed up corners, they sold it to us for $10.  These chairs are hand-made from Germany and were being sold by a couple in their garage sale, $5 each.  This table sits 8 comfortably, we used to only sit 4 with our old table.  Pretty amazing hah?  Now this cost does not include my time sanding and re-staining the table or the stain, but I got a beautiful table for a lot less than I would have spent to get all of this NEW!  Plus, it’s fun…. :-)

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 25

mp900399564Know Your Seasons

Instead of trying to tackle all of the seasons and what is best to buy in each season, I’ll stick to one example. Gym memberships. Are you thinking of joining a gym? The best times to join a gym is in December says Howard Brodsky , chief executive of New York Health & Racquet Club. This is when everyone is starting to think of burning off all of the weight that they gained over the holidays or changing their lifestyle in the new year. During this time you will find a lot of special promotions that you may not find the rest of the year. Know your seasons when shopping for big ticket items, another example would be to buy an air-conditioning unit in the dead of winter off Craigslist, versus the dead of summer…

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/26/health/26patient.html?_r=2&ref=health&

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 24

mp900406569Negotiate

Negotiation = Confrontation. Not all of us like confrontation, therefore, the thought of negotiating the price makes our skin crawl. Why? Because we are making ourselves vulnerable to the “no” that may follow. But why not? What do you have to lose? Next time you are in a store and see some cosmetic damage that you can repair, why not ask for 10 – 20% off the item and point out the damage? I have found this to work about 70% of the time!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 23

mp900442488Make A List

Have you ever heard the expression, “don’t shop hungry?”  Phew, I have and have tested it personally and they knew what they were talking about.  If I shop hungry, I over shop…and that does not have a positive affect on the budget.  My recommendation to you is to make a list before you go into any store with the items you need, whether it be the grocery store or Kohl’s.  This helps keep you on track and may help you to not overspend.  I have found it to help me greatly!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 22

mp900411753Discount Codes

Ever make purchases online?  Have you heard of discount codes?  If I am purchasing something from a store online, I will always Google ” ‘Store Name’ Discount Codes.”  By doing this I have received as much as 25 % off my order to free shipping.  Sometimes the discount codes don’t work, so it takes research.  Give it a try!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 21

mp900178035The Purpose Of Your Glove Box

What a strange word, glove box. Do you keep gloves in your box? I don’t! I keep my registration and insurance information, a map of Colorado, and a tire pressure reader. Do you know what my glove box is missing? Coupons. I have a tendency to to function on emotion, therefore, I shop on emotion most of the time. Oh, hey, I have 2 hours and I need to shop in the next few days and I have time now, and I go grocery shopping. But you know what happens when this happens…every 2 weeks? I never have my coupons!!!! It drives me crazy…therefore, my solution is to put my coupons in my glove box or anywhere in my car, so that when this happens, I have my coupons!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 20

mp900314251Bag Credits and Pennies

I figured that the two of these go hand in hand, considering that over time, they don’t add up to a whopping number that I can wow you with, but still matter. They matter because when we VALUE saving money, we will. I am very thankful that Whole Foods offers a 10 cent bag credit if you bring in your own bags for groceries or don’t use a bag. That is 10 cents off my bill and that is better than nothing. Another thing that blows my mind is how people walk by money…even if it is a penny, pick it up! If you don’t value money at its lowest value, how will you value it at its highest? So get your bag credits and pick up pennies!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 19

mp900433104Return It

A friend the other day was dismayed because she could not find her receipt for a pair of jeans that she bought for a family member at at store that didn’t fit. She came to the conclusion that she would just have to bite the bullet and take the loss. I asked her where she bought them and she said Kohl’s, I am not a frequent shopper at Kohl’s and I have never returned anything, but I was for sure they would at least give her a store credit. In thinking about writing this today, I looked up the return policy on their website, and indeed, they say, “No receipt? No problem. We’ll give you a refund, an exchange or Merchandise Credit.” SWEET. It pays to know the store’s return policy, make an effort to find it out before shopping at the store. I’ll shop at REI over other less expensive stores, just because I feel that they have a KICKIN’ return policy.

Source:
http://www.kohlscorporation.com/customer_service/returnsexchange/returnsexchanges.html

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 18

mp900439499Brown Bag It

Does brown bagging it remind you of your elementary days?  Well during those years, you didn’t have to pay a mortgage, buy groceries, pay off your car or worry about buying new socks.  The years have caught up to you, and now you have to worry about these things.  Do you know that the typical worker spends nearly $2,000 per year on lunch according to a study by staffing company Accounting Principals?  If we’re looking at 52 weeks in a year, that is almost $40 per week!  That equates to almost $200 per month!  Time to brown bag it – try to take dinner leftovers?

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 17

mp900175567Bi-Annual Reviews

Keep those vying for your business on their toes…if you are not in a contract, make sure that you conduct a bi-annual review of your current bills to see if you can save money elsewhere.  Currently we are paying $97 per quarter for trash and recycling service, we did some shopping around and found the same service for $63 per quarter.  That is savings!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 16

20130115-190053Shop Around

This can of soup costs $1.50 per can at Walmart. At Costco, an 8-pack costs $11.99 – that is $1.49 per can. Sometimes it comes down to which store is more convenient for you?

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 15

mp900408952Check The Receipt

Always check the receipt.

The other weekend, I was at a coffee shop with my mom and we ordered coffee and some food. I don’t know if it is a healthy habit or not, but as I am saying my orders to the person helping me I am adding in my head how much the subtotal should come to. The kind gal helping me said, your total is “24″ something. Woah…I thought in my head. Either my math is off or an extra button got pushed. Well, a few extra buttons got pushed and 24 went down to 16. What happens when we’re not paying attention? Always keep the running total in check to avoid losing money…

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 14

couponsCoupons

I am not a coupon clipper, but that does not mean I flip through the coupon books at the stores that I shop at.  There isn’t anything more exciting then handing over a coupon and saving $2 on a product in my book, I feel empowered and wise!  Take some time and flip through the store’s coupon books, you might just find a discount on an item you love!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 13

71mulhzw3el- sl1500 Department Store vs. Discount Department Stores

The other day I was making Paleo cookies and my mom asked, “What is that sound?”  I replied, “Oh, that is just the cookie pan warping…”  Well, thanks to my mom, I soon realized that it is simply time for a new cookie sheet and a few new turners/spatulas.  My response in these situations is automatic – Ross and TJ Maxx.  Why?  Because I know that I can find high quality kitchen products for much less than I would spend in a large department store.  The Farberware turner I purchased at TJ Maxx for $2.99 – the same turner retails for $8.09 on Amazon.  That is a savings of ~ $5 on just 1 of the items I purchased.  Give one of these stores a try next time you are in need of cooking utensils, you will save BIG!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 12

Rug Doctor Mighty Pro Professional Carpet Cleaner908StandardAre you in need of a big ticket item for a one time job, like a cleaner for cleaning your carpet or couches? Those carpet cleaners are expensive for a job that you may do annually. Instead of running out and spending $400 on a new carpet cleaner, why not rent it? Or perhaps you have a friend that you can borrow it from? Save yourself some money and rent it from your local grocery store…

There may be some cases, due to the amount of use, where purchasing a large ticket item might make more sense…but 90% of the time, you don’t need to buy it and have it sit in a closet all year.

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 11

48c829d2-000f1-035f3-400cb8e1Generic vs. Name Brand

Are you fearful about a food product that has a generic label on is vs. a name brand? From my experience, what it comes down to is quality. While I am attracted to the price of the generic brands, the quality is not always equivalent to the name brands. One example I can think of was with almond butter, there is a brand that we always buy, but we were on a trip and the “store brand” was less than the brand that we normally buy, so I thought, why not? After plucking almond skin from each bite, I determined I would stick with our “name brand” in the future. When it comes to trash bags, generic. Hand soap, generic. Dish soap, generic. This list goes on and on, experiment at little bit and save some money! Check out this fun article about the battle between generic and name brand:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/photos/generic-vs-brand-name-products/

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 10

mp900422368Warehouse Shopping

I have decided not to tackle the sticky subject of warehouse shopping vs. grocery store shopping today, but just want to share a small observation. My shopping is split up amongst Costco, Walmart and Natural Grocers (aka Vitamin Cottage). No, I don’t have an excel database consisting of every item I buy rounded to the last penny, but I do keep track in my mind of who has the best price among the three. The three store shopping dilemma is not only in an effort to save money but can also be attributed to the fact that not all of the stores have what I desire. Costco has bread, lots of bread and at great prices, but not Organic Sprouted Wheat Bread. Walmart has apples, lots of apples, but not Organic Fuji apples, ect. Whenever a client asks me the benefits of shopping at Costco, I tell my spinach story. There are several factors that go into this such as the membership fee, how often you shop there, blah blah. That is not where I am going with this, I am going towards the simple fact that I can buy 1 lb. of Organic Spinach at Costco for $3.99 or go to a grocery store where only the 5 oz version is available for $3.99. There are 16 oz in 1 lb.

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 10

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 9

mp900401552Eating Out

If you love to eat out, raise your hand. Um, that should have been everyone. Awww, the joy of eating out. You sit and your food is cooked and brought to you, it is a beautiful thing. While I am a “sucker” for eating out, even if it is Chipolte, it still comes with a very hefty price and ultimately the price of convenience catches up with us!

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 9

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 8

mp90042303019 Cents Per Day

Back in the old days I would buy 1 – 2 grande coffees from Starbuck’s per day. While I LOVE a cup of coffee from Starbuck’s, I view it more as a treat now, versus an everyday thing. This change of view has made my husband very happy.

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 8

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 7

gswveggies$500 Juicers For $40

Do you know what this is? If they didn’t have the fruit and vegetables in the background, you might have to take a moment to examine this contraption to figure out what it is. This is a juicer that we just purchased…

Good juicers are A LOT of money (this one is around $500), that is why we have waited for quite some time to get a good one. We went over to my parents house and they juiced a wonderful drink for us using this juicer. Stephen, my husband, exclaimed, “I want one!” My hand clutched into the sofa cushion, thinking to myself…”they are a lot of money and we are already savings for several other things…” I kept mum.

Then my mom said the most profound thing all day, “Let’s see if we can find one on Craigslist!” WAM! She found this model on Craigslist for sale and for….

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 7

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 6

mp900422389STUDENT LOANS – PAYING EXTRA TOWARDS PRINCIPAL

Paying extra towards your student loan principal is a great idea…but don’t get tempted one month to not make a payment when you see that you don’t have another payment due until June 2013. This drawn out due date is because you have paid additional towards the minimum payment.

You will still be paying interest on your balance the months you don’t make a payment. Your overall balance will grow due to the interest your collecting and also because you won’t be making payments.

Tip #6

Keep paying those suckers down!

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 5

pm1CUSTOMER LOYALTY CARDS

This stamp card was started in August 2009:

If they’re free and you buy food from there a lot, do it, what do you have to lose?
The main reason why companies offer these stamp cards with free food and discounts is to build customer loyalty. The new electronic cards not only do that, but also act as a great marketing tool – tracking every time you purchase, what you purchase, and much more. They would have to spend thousands if not millions of dollars for this data, but by throwing a free sandwich your way or offering you a small discount on gas…they gather valuable data which helps their profit.
I am all for these customer loyalty cards (IF THEY ARE FREE).

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 5

The Consumer In Us

42

Thank you for shopping with us today, BUT I think you forgot a few things: the chap-stick you’ve been needing, scotch tape to wrap your presents, the lanyard for your niece, a notepad to write down your to do list, a flashlight for your son, gum because your breath stinks, don’t forget chocolate for later and OH, why not buy a gift card for Uncle Joe while you’re at it?! I mean, you are right here at the register, and you NEED it! What a nice store as they made it soo convenient because they truly care…NOT!

Read more: The Consumer In Us

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 4

internetADVERTISEMENT – “Internet For $14.99 Per Month!”

You – “Wow! That is a great deal!”
You, After Further Research – “I don’t need all of that too…”

Read more: 30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 4

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 3

cash-back-envelope-e1355942686996Any enticing credit card offers come in the mail lately? Notice how every envelope that you get from a credit card company will have an offer stamped on the outside of the envelope to get you to open it. 1% Cash Back – WOW! – $1 dollar per every $100 I spend…are you motivated by $1 for much of anything?

What if I offered you $500, would you be motivated then? This credit card company is offering you $500, you just have to spend $50,000 to get it…

Tip #3 – What to do when you get credit card offers in the mail:

cc-trash

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 2

savingsSavings isn’t savings unless you need it, and most of the time you don’t.

Tip #2 Make a list before you go into the store and stick to it to avoid impulsive spending…

30 Ways In 30 Days – Shopping Aware - Day 1

de310afc488f11e2b62322000a9f12da 6Identify what this pretty little tree tower of soda at the entrance of the grocery store is trying to do – This display catches your attention, right as you are walking in the store, throws you off focus, you notice the great deal on the soda – you were not coming to the store for the soda, but what a great deal!!! You buy it. They tricked you.

Tip #1 – STAY ON TASK…

What other strategically placed item do you see in this picture??

Your Ego

mp910218757

Ego has such a negative connotation when it is mentioned, but ultimately, we all have an ego. Our ego is simply our self-image and we all have one of those. Our self-image is how we differentiate ourselves from the world around us, it is how we want others to see us or how we see ourselves and the desire to project that image onto others.

Read more: Your Ego

“I can’t afford it…”

mp9004312431We all have an expression that when we hear it, we cringe. “I can’t afford it,” is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. This expression is a lie that we have trained ourselves to believe about our circumstances. I will preface this comment with the fact that anyone can dream up something to disprove what I just said, but I will tell you that in most cases this expression is a false belief that many of us carry with us everyday.

Read more: “I can’t afford it…”

Health = Wealth

mp900255395As my friend and personal chiropractor would say, “Health is Wealth.” Therefore, I like to always remind my clients that they have to strike a chord of balance in their lives…

Why Is Exercise Important?

1) Helps Prevent Diseases

2) Improves Stamina

3) Strengthens and Tones

4) Enhances Flexibility

5) Controls Weight

6) Improves Quality of Life

Source:
http://bit.ly/B6y9K

Small Tips To Make The Holidays Less Financially Stressful…

mp900430557

How has your fall been? If you are in Colorado, you will have experienced our first snow fall right before Halloween. In past years, when we get our first snow before Halloween, it is going to be a SNOWY winter…but I am no weather forecaster, so don’t hold me to it! One of my favorite parts about Colorado Springs this time of year are the sun’s rays bouncing off the freshly dropped snow…this is why I’ve lived here my entire life; the beauty is breathtaking.

Read more: Small Tips To Make The Holidays Less Financially Stressful…

The Dirty Dozen

kid-with-apple

Stephen and I have been eating Paleo for over 3 months now. Paleo is lean protein, vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and oil. With Paleo eating, 95% of our refrigerator is produce which caused a large spike in our grocery budget. Before starting Paleo, I would buy 100% organic produce, now it’s closer to 40% organic. It has been bothering me tremendously to know the amount of toxins that are entering our bodies from non-organic produce. Recently, my step-father told me about a list called “The Dirty Dozen.” It is a list that is comprised of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables that you should ALWAYS purchase organic. This list also contains a list of vegetables and fruits that are called the “Clean 15″ which you can consider purchasing non-organic.

Eat organic and save money – download the list here:

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Card

Creating Your Value System

mh9004387961“…our handling of money is a litmus test of our true character. Our stewardship of our money and possessions becomes the story of our lives (Alcorn, 8).

Whether we’d like to admit this or not, the statement by Randy Alcorn above is very true. Each of us has a set of values and we live our lives according to the values that we have. Some of us value family time, so we make the time to ensure that family time is happening. Some of us value working out, therefore we make the time to go to the gym or get a walk in. Whatever it is that you value, you will make the necessary adjustments in your life so that you can create the space necessary in order to have it. In my experience, I have seen that not all people value financial freedom. They may look me straight in my face and say that they WANT financial freedom, but they don’t value financial freedom.

Read more: Creating Your Value System

Why Give?

May this inspire you!

Addressing America’s Top Money Concerns

In July, 2011 Gallup released a poll that they conducted which asked the question:

“What is the most important financial problem facing your family today?”

The top 3 responses were:

1) Lack of money/low wages 17%

2) Healthcare costs 12%

3) Too much debt/not enough money to pay debts 11%

Read more: Addressing America’s Top Money Concerns

Keys To Financial Freedom

slide1One of the questions I ask all clients before I work with them is, “What are your top 3 goals for your financial future?” The responses to this question are almost always the same – to pay a particular loan off, be debt free, have financial stability and many other similar answers. What this tells me is that my clients have a similar goal – to be free from financial slavery.

Read more: Keys To Financial Freedom

Endurance

swimmerEndurance is not a genetic gift, it is a mental make-up. In watching the Pre-Olympic athletes with anticipation, I reflect on their “endurance.” Their endurance is made up of their patience, time, discipline, focus, training, nutrition, mental exercises and much more. Their endurance took effort and did not come to them by happenstance or genetics. These athletes are the prime example of how these characteristics can produce excellence. With that said, I feel that everyone is capable of excellence. Your excellence may be different than Michael Phelps or Donald Trump, but your excellence is achievable – if you are willing to endure.

Read more: Endurance

Go Big Or Go Home

man-catching-frisbee

Life is a crazy game, you can choose to win or lose. If an athlete wants to make it to the Olympics, they better buckle down and devote the next four years to eating, sleeping and dreaming their sport. Life is the same way, perhaps your dream is not to go to the Olympics, perhaps it is to have the freedom to pursue a calling or dream. The only way you are going to get is by dreaming BIG and working HARD. But wait, there’s more.

Read more: Go Big Or Go Home

The Roller Coaster Of Income For Business Owners

roller-coaster

Do you own your own business? If so, then you are accustomed to the monthly roller coaster of pay that a self-employed individual might expect, it is never the same. While some business owners with a steady stream of cash flow may have a system where they take a set salary or distribution each month, a majority of business owners are at the mercy of their monthly business volume.

Read more: The Roller Coaster Of Income For Business Owners

My Heart Breaks

My heart is burdened this morning as the weight of the tragedy that has besieged our city hit me. The fire was “harmless” as it engulfed our mountainside towards Rampart Reservoir, but due to a shift in wind yesterday, the fire broke a barrier that was set and entered into our city. I first heard about the fire on Saturday, I could see the smoke rising from the mountain. When I first saw the smoke plume I thought of hikers, animals and cabins. Relieved to hear that all was unscathed, it seemed that the fire became a very sad occurrence in our mountains and it would be out soon. This was my lingering feeling, as I was encouraged to see the firefighters hold off the fire from entering the Cedar Heights subdivision on Sunday. Yesterday everything changed. I got a call from Stephen around 5 p.m. as I was sitting in my office on a conference call with a client, “Have you seen the fire? It is tearing down the mountain!” He soon had to get off the phone with me and I ran outside. I couldn’t believe it, a band of fire was now coming down the mountain towards people’s homes, the sky was grey and ash swirled around me – never has the end felt soo close. I told Stephen later that night, “This is what you see in the movies, and it is happening in Colorado Springs…” It made me think of all those who had to witness the tragedy of 911 and the horror they must have felt as they watched those towers collapse while papers from the office buildings danced in the sky around them. When you face horror head-on like those did in 911 and like others are experiencing here, you can’t put it into words. Today I sit with a heavy, heavy heart. In these times, may we remember the things that are most important to us. Our true rewards sit beyond the boundaries of this life, I pray that we all may be stewards of our resources during this time and extend a helping hand to those in need. It may take time and a small investment, but I encourage you to help someone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy.

Enter The "Bloatato"

bloatatoes-e1339540058741Yes, this is my name for potatoes, “bloatatoes.” In my last post I mentioned how I was bonking major on my runs and it was just not making for fun times. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy a 200 pound bag of red potatoes at Costco last week. Why a 200 lb bag (exaggeration) you ask? Because it was only $5, a $5 experiment that went south. I made some beautiful potatoes, I skillfully cut them up ranch style and then nuked them in the microwave. While I know that the caveman did not have the luxury of the microwave, I thought I would just go out on a limb for this experiment. After this, I got my cast iron skillet prepped with a dab of coconut oil and I dropped those puppies (aka potatoes) in the skillet. I was so excited! I finally get to eat something that is not green or was alive at one point. Let’s just say I am not a “meat girl” – while I know I need it, I am not a HUGE fan. Give me a chicken breast and I will cut that sucker up to oblivion to avoid any traces of blood or fat. Oh my word, it just grosses me out. I can’t even cook ground beef, argg. Issues, I know.

Read more: Enter The "Bloatato"

Going “Bonkers”

the-bonk1

Ok kids…this is all I have to say – I am going “bonkers.” No, not literally, I am just having fun playing on words here. Last week, when my training commenced, I felt DRAINED. On every run I felt extremely worn down and bonked continuously. This has been somewhat frustrating, but I do know from my experience with Paleo in the past, that athletes have different needs. So! If you are an athlete, be sure to understand what those needs are so that your training performance does not suffer. I am excited to report that we have invested in “The Paleo Diet For Athletes” by Loren Cordain. In the meantime, I have been munching on a piece of toast after every run, not sure if it is doing much, but in a vague way I am hopeful that I am restoring those glycogen stores.

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Break Habits To Increase Your Finances

You have caught me in the thralls of my quest to stave off sugar for 30 days. My battle ends on March 31st and I am happy to report that it is going quite well. I would be lying if I said I have had NO sugar in the last 2 ½ weeks, but it has been limited only to special occasions. I have successfully avoided snagging the dum dum pop in the bank line, grabbing a mint at the hostess stand or sneaking in a cookie when I should be going for an apple. This journey started compliments of the inspiration from my chiropractor, Dr. Kurt Perkins.

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Paleo Diet Preparation

The preparation has begun! I purchased the “The Paleo Diet Cookbook” By Loren Cordain at Natural Grocers about a month ago. The beginning of the book is great, because it offers the “chef” a basic premise for the Paleo Diet and how it works.

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