A Blog Epiphany

I just had a blog Epiphany! I am super organized in almost every part of my life except my blog! So I thought it was high time I sit down and have a good old-fashioned talk with myself and ask myself where I wanted this whole blog thing to go.

I want people to be inspired by my blog the same way I am inspired by others’ blogs.

What am I going to do about it?

I’m gonna get organized.

How am I gonna do that?

A schedule.

Monday= Meckaniky Monday. if any of you have read my very first blog post you would know that my husband is a mechanic and I am constantly learning new things from him about cars and I figure it’s about time I share my knowledge with everyone.

Wednesday= Something Crafty whether it is sewing or a yummy dinner or decorating or just a little craft I would like to share my cool crafts with everyone and hopefully get back into my crafty side (I’ve been on a craft sabbatical since I got married)

Friday= The Friday Journal. This is where I will give you a the low down on my week and hopefully something inspirational.

Saturday/Sunday= Whatever, Whenever Weekend. I will do the occasional saturday or sunday post with some interesting and random content/pictures.

I’m also looking to soup up my blog with some new fonts/pictures/guest post/ideas so keep viewing to see the evolution.

-Jane

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Gourmet In a Can

This is what Doc and I had for dinner last night and as I put it on the plate I thought about how fancy it looked. A lot of it had to do with the new plates my brother and sister-in-law gave us the other day. And I started thinking about making meals that are cheap and easy but look nice. So I thought I’d share my recipe.

First are the ingredients (This recipe is for two so you may need to increase the serving sizes)

2 Chicken Breast

2 Cups uncooked rice

1 Can Cream-of-Chicken soup

1 Can Green Beans (the French Cut beans look fancier)

1 Green Onion, Chopped

Directions;

Cook chicken breast on medium high heat. Meanwhile add 2 Cups uncooked rice with 4 cups water. Once boiling cover with lid and turn to medium heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. In a sauce pan empty the can of Cream-Of-Chicken soup, then fill the can half way with water and add to the soup, whisk together and heat on medium. Empty can of green beans in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave until warm. sprinkle chopped Green Onion on the top.

This is probably one of my favorite meals because it is fast and easy and it still looks nice and it is fairly healthy its only 308 calories for the whole meal and it is really filling with the rice and the chicken on the same plate.

Thanks for reading,

Jane

Holi, Color Festival

Next week my hubby and I are planning on attending the Holi/Color Festival in Spanish Fork Ut.

My brother went last year and had a lot of fun, plus we have been seeing a lot of pictures from last year on facebook. So I decided we should go. And like everything else I did my research on everything that goes on and the history and traditions behind the celebration. So here is a little bit of what I found in case anyone out there is thinking about joining in the fun.

Holi is a religiouse holiday celebrated by Hindus (and appearantly Harry Kerishnas, because the festival is actually at the karishna temple.)

The main day, Holi, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other.  They light Bonfires the day before the festival, this is known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). After the burning, holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered.

Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. This year it’s March, 24th.

In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, sex, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Also, Holi lowers the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior, as a result the festival is loud and rambunctious and from what I hear there are a lot of body surfers.

Every year, thousands of Hindus (and non-Hindus, such as myself) participate in the festival Holi. The festival is celebrated for many reasons. First, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating many events in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating.

So now that I knew a little bit about why is was celebrated, I looked around for some cool pictures and I kept seeing pictures of fires and wondered why in the world that had to do with sprind and color.

and I was wondering what in the world this had to do with the color festival.

Hindu legends say, tell about a brutal King named Hiranyakashyapa. This demon king Hiranyakashyapa was very cruel and thus forcefully suppressed all this subjects and make them his devotees. He tried to eliminate the existence of God from the earth and establish his own supremacy everywhere. All the citizens of his kingdom were forced to pray to Hiranyakashyapa and not to Vishnu. However his own son, Prahalad, never abided by his Kingdoms rule. He tried every way to stop Prahalad from worshipping Vishnu but the little devotee never stopped praying his almighty.

Out of frustration and anger, the demon king then decided to kill his son. Despite all his efforts, Prahalad remained safe by the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Finally, Hiranyakashyapa decided to take help of his cruel demon sister Holika. Holika was blessed with a drape which protected her from burning into fire. The demon princess Holika sat with young Prahalad in a huge bowl of fire wearing the drape over her body. But this time, due to heavy wind the drape came over young Prahalada, saving him from burning and as a result Holika was burnt in fire and thus died on the spot.

I have always been interested in learning about different religions and thier traditions and holidays.

I am so escited to attend the festival!

I would love to know more, if anyone out there knows more about these traditions please comment.

Thanks for reading.

Budget is not a four letter word

My mother is a financial counselor, so while I was growing up my siblings and I learned a lot about budgeting debt and how to avoid bankruptcy. I though this was normal, I thought that everyone knew how to budget because it was just so simple and easy that, well, everyone should just be able to do it. Then I found out that budgeting and planning financial futures is like a foreign language to most people and if you don’t grow up learing about this stuff, it can be really difficult. So I thought I might share my little bit of knowledge with you all especially if you are just starting out and trying to balance your budget.

First of all if you are just starting out and you don’t know how much things cost (like when I tried to spend only $20 per week on groceries for two people…. just FYI, it’s impossible).

I got this table from irs.gov it shows the national averages of what people/families are spending on basic living needs.

Expense One Person Two Persons Three Persons Four Persons
Food $300 $537 $639 $757
Housekeeping supplies $29 $66 $65 $74
Apparel & services $86 $162 $209 $244
Personal care products & services $32 $55 $61 $67
Miscellaneous $87 $165 $197 $235
Total $534 $985 $1,171 $1,377
More than four persons Additional Persons Amount
For each additional person, add to four-person total allowance: $262

These are not exact numbers for every single state and your house may spend more or less in each of these categories.

Now for actually setting up your budget I recommend actually sitting down and writing down each of your bills and how much they cost.

Here is a list of my household expenses to help you create yours. (The values are for a 1 month period)

  • Tithing/Charitable/religious donations
  • Saving (10% generally about $280)
  • Rent (864, including water, sewer and garbage)
  • Gas ($160  for our one car)
  • Utilities ($50 for 1,180 sq.ft.)
  • Groceries ($300 )
  • Prescriptions and over the counter medications ($50)
  • Car maintainance (We use this money to either do little repairs on our car or save the money in case we run into a larger repair) (about $100)
  • Car Insurance ($33 our car is still insured under his parents)
  • Cell Phone ($120, we share a family plan with his parents to keep costs down)
  • 401K/Health Insurance (This may be taken out of your paycheck by your employer)(130.36)
  • Life Insurance(Is absolutely necessary!!)($9.00, for $180,000.00 incoverage)
  • Entertainment ($50)
  • Tools (Unless you or your spouse is in a trade you may not have to include this in your budget)($150)
  • Renters Insurance ($16)

(Remember this is my personal household of only 2 people, your budget amounts may vary.)

I would like to mention Life insurance and Disability insurance for just a second. the average cost of a funeral in the U.S is

According to the National Funeral Directors Association an average funeral will cost about $7,750 not including a head stone, burial plot or obituary.

Also depending on your age and marital status you might want to decide on how long you want your family to be able to live on the insurance.

Also disability insurance (especially if you are the major money-maker) is important because if you are seriously injured or disabled you will need to be able to pay medical costs and possibly in home care costs depending on your injuries.

Whew! now that you have all that stuff worked out, you have to do the math.

so add up all your expenses and deduct this from your NET pay (Net pay is how much money you get after taxes)

now look at the total, if the number is more zero or above, you are in good shape if your number is below zero you might want to consider adjusting your budget.

If you need some help or advice I would like to recommend my favorite financial counselor.

Sherri Overby, AFC

Here is her contact info incase you need it and she gives free advice over the phone.

Globous Financial Relief

   info@financialvitalsigns.org

 1775 West 1500 South

 Salt Lake City, Utah 84104

   (866) 977-0555 (toll-free)

 (801) 977-0555

  Fax: (801) 977-3999

or you can visit her website financialvitalsigns.org

Thanks for reading.

Jane

Evil Cable Company

It has been a crazt week and I haven’t had a spare moment (well at least none where I had access to internet) to blog. Hubby and I are still looking for the right internet provider. speaking of wich. I though I would share with you all my recent run-in with a “Dish Network” representative.

This is how our phone call went

Him: “Hello this is —- (I don’t remember his name), how can I help you”

Me: “I just got this mailer this morning and I was wondering about your $19.99 plan”

Him: “Oh, that’s just our basic local channels. What channels are you looking for”

Me: “Um… we were thinking about AMC, TLC, Life, HGTV, ESPN and Fuel”

Him: “Well then you’ll want our $24.99 plan it has all those plus movie channels for free for three months”

Me: “Hmmm… I’ll have to think about it, thank you though.”

Him: “So you don’t really care about what you’re watching as long as it’s cheap” -click- he hung up on me.

totally uncalled for. I was being very polite. I know that they work on commission but I wasn’t about to pay for something that I couldn’t afford just because he wanted me to and I ended the conversation as soon as I knew I wasn’t going to purchase.

Now after having that conversation there is no way that I am going to purchase anything from them and I am going to tell all of my friends and family about it so they don’t purchase anything from them either.

I know that I can’t single-handedly make everyone not want to purchase anything from those people but hopefully my voice can make a difference.

Baby Binder continued

I am absolutely dying at home without any internet and I miss interacting with everyone! so to pass the time I have been working on my “Baby Binder” or “TTC Binder.” now that the outside of the binder is finished I thought I would share it with you.

I started with this t-shirt that I love but will never wear again because it has a ton of lipstick stains all over it (there was a tube of lip gloss in the dryer when this shirt was put in to dry). So now I finally have something to use it for. the shirt is a pale pink with “Made With Love” written on the front in white letters (I thought that was fitting).

So I laid the binder on top of the shirt over the letters and traced with a pencil. I left about 3/4in around the edges so I could fold them in.

I simply used tacky glue but you can use whatever adhesive you’d like.

I wanted to keep the window on the front of the binder so I used the hem on the bottom of the shirt to finish the edges. this way I didn’t have to finish any of the edges myself.

next I covered the inside of the binder. I added a little bit of ribbon on the left hand side because there were a few raw edges that needed to be covered.

To finish, I added a little sentiment to the pages using small letter stamps and dark blue ink.

And this is the finished product. I “laminated” it with some clear contact paper so it doesn’t get dirty.

I haven’t finished the inside yet, I am still thinking about what to put in it. so far I have a dry erase paper to write down all the baby names we like, and the first page when you open the binder says “remember! Prenatal Vitamin.”

I know I am a little crazy but I like to keep all my thoughts in well-organized binders. Now I am thinking a home binder with insurance info and appliance user manuals and shopping lists is next. I’ll let you know when I get there.

Thanks for reading.

Jane

Life in emoticons

Today has been pretty sucky and my emotions have been up and down. So I though to best illistrate my feelings I should use my facvorite emoticons.

4:30 am = o_O (only half awake and too tired to take a shower)

5:00 am = 😦 (time to wake up and in seriouse back pain)

6:00 am = :-/ (at school not to bad way tired)

8:23 am = >:-( (unhappy, someone stole the topic I was going to use for my paper so my professor made me change it.)

10:00 am = :’-( (I got another ‘D’ on homework and just about cired)

10:30 am = 😀 (super happy becaus I got a ‘B’ for the first time in this class)

10:51 am = >:-( + :’-( (I asked my professor for some help getting my grade up, his response was to try harder.)

11:00 am = :-/ (skip my public speaking course to run to the library)

11:15 am = :-! (I forgot my wallet so I don’t have my drivers license or student ID card)

12:00 am = 😛 (Totally fried and it’s only noon)

This has been an incredibly long day. and I still have papers to write one class to attend.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Jane