random thoughts

It is a beautiful morning.

I am sipping my coffee with no rush, however, I have plans for the rest of the day. So I am alert.

First, I will donate the extra house and personal items I found in my home during the cleaning + decluttering saga last week. I plan to take the bus, which will be a challenge. But I will try.

Then I will shop at the same donation/thrift store. I need nothing particular but would love to see whether I can get a great item or two that I will love to have.

Then will come the book store. There is a book that I want to buy. I am hoping maybe it will be on sale this week. Who knows? Unless I check it..

Then I will go back to office for a short time. I did some work last week which I want to check and finalize. It is not supposed to take a long time, and knowing that that work will be done will feel awesome – cannot wait.

Then I am supposed to visit a sick colleague of mine. She is doing well now, recovering, which is great news. But I am invited and I will go. It feels good to be supporting someone in such a stage. I am looking for an elegant visit.

Then, I will find myself in front of the TV watching Netflix. Have I mentioned that I have got Netflix a week or two ago? Yes, I have! Man, what was I waiting for – it is amazing! It helps me empty my mind from the daily clutter of thoughts, spend more time in the living room, cook meals, and go to bed a little bit later than my usual 8-9pm ritual. These are all positive things so far, including going to bed late. I think it actually helps me with my insomnia – that I sleep well till later, say 8 am, rather than 5 am. A shift in the perception of insomnia. It helps 🙂

Netflix means an extra cost in my monthly bills, but it is a great entertainment. So, for 11 bucks a month, nothing better comes to my mind. It was silly of me to think that I was saving money without it – but I know.

Some expenses are good expenses.

Have a great day friends – all and well.

a good day today

It has been a fine day 🙂

I got up early and that is why I did quite a bit today. For example, I deep cleaned the upstairs and I am now ready to clean downstairs and re-arrange the furniture. It is gonna be tough, but the end product will be awesome. I am hopeful 🙂  And excited 🙂

Anyways.. Most importantly, I have taken the clothes I sorted out while decluttering to a donation centre/thrift store. In turn, I grabbed a lovely mirror, two empty frames, and a great ancient Egyptian figurine. Friends, you would not believe how great I am feeling about all of these! All loved. All looking great. All excite me.

I have painted one of the empty frames. I want to frame a piece I have bought in Athens a couple of years ago. I always thought that I would have a green wood frame for it. I did not have it, so I painted one 🙂 Now, I have it 🙂

I display the dried flowers (those that were sent to me by my work place when my dad died, which I had dried) in the second empty frame. I used to have them in two small frames with white background. But this frame is large enough to have all of them inside. And it has a black background which beautifully contrasts the flowers. It looks so great. It looks so great… As my dad would have deserved. May he rest in peace.

I think this has been a day that I really found awesome pieces by luck. I think it is true what they say that you gotta keep checking them. Many days one may not find exciting stuff, but someday, you get what you ask for 🙂  Like Hugh dancing like noone is watching. See, what I say?

🙂

Movie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

PS: this movie was really great 🙂

————————————–

gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/happy-movie-dancing-14udF3WUwwGMaA

 

taking some vacation time next week on

I jut learnt that I cannot carry my annual vacation time to next year. So I decided life was too short and I could make excellent use of my paid vacation time.

You may think I will be going away, but this is not the case. I plan to spend time, thankfully free time, at work and home.

Let me tell you my exciting plans:

Work:  One may say that I am taking time off to finish work and that would be the truth. My expectation is that I will be free to work on my own work without any meetings or commitments to my team members or the committees I work in. I may work at home or in the office – does not matter. I am so looking forward to this and finishing up important tasks that are good for my own success.

Home: I have exciting plans. Let’s see…. I have started decluttering my wardrobe and I would love this to be extended to the whole house. This is very exciting!

I would like to get decluttered items either donated or chopped down to be used as cleaning cloths.

I want to deep clean the house – the last time I could do it was the holiday season.

I also would love to re-arrange my furniture on the living room/dining room. This will take me some time to do but i am very excited about this. Finally it will look like a welcoming house.

I want to buy a new dining table and chairs set, but not sure whether I can find something that I can afford. We will see how that goes.

I want to visit the thrift stores during the weekdays (somebody suggested that there may be new items right after the weekend when people usually drop their donations) and build my new wardrobe. I grew so tired of my current wardrobe 🙂

And I will binge-watch the X-files! 🙂

The X-Files GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

———————–

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/the-x-files-xTiTnfG8w8G939s3qo

 

 

 

coupons can be exciting sometimes

If you follow me, you know well that even though I am on a frugal journey, I am not interested in couponing, unless coupons show up at my doorsteps as inserts or are stuck on the items in the stores.

This week I have got 3 inserts and several coupons that I can use. Two of them were manufacturer coupons for my hair dye ($2 each), which I was planning to purchase this week (they are on sale on a store nearby). I went to the store this morning and found out, to my surprise, that the packets also had $3 store coupons on them. So I bought three packages and together with the sale price, I paid $20.5 and saved $21.

Can you imagine?

$21…..

This is the first time that I have got that lucky with coupons. Perhaps I should be paying more attention to them?

I honestly think that I can start a new project where I can donate the savings I got from coupons. It may not be too much, but even a small amount is helpful.

🙂

abundance

Longing for abundance?

Go thru what you have in your home, office, car, or life first.

Make a list; itemize everything; it helps you to find out what you already have, what you had forgotten you have had, what you do not, what you need, and what you do not need. While you are at it, declutter too. When you are done;

  1. Appreciate what you have
  2. Use what you have
  3. Donate whatever you do not want/need anymore- help others
  4. Exchange them with family and friends – mend each other’s needs
  5. Re-purpose; cut out that shirt, curtain, shorts and make cleaning clothes – mop the floor, clean the doors/windows, wipe the rugs, sew a mat, scarf, tote, napkins, or toys for a kid or a pet; use the glass jars and other containers to store your dry food, spices, and other food; replace the old mat with a new one you found somewhere else at home
  6. Save items for later use (make sure to remember their existence and try not to hoard)
  7. Sell them
  8. Put whatever cannot be used, donated, exchanged, re-purposed, saved for future use,  or sold into garbage or a collection unit
  9. Give priority of use to those items that you have had forgotten you have had. This is not only good for perishable items, like food, but anything else – since they were not around for sometime, using them can enrich your life if you like change, make you feel like you just have gained an item for free,  or a need filled with no effort or funds

Abundance comes from knowing and feeling what you already have.

Remember to thank for whatever you have.

declutterig, finding new treasures, and giving them away

I have decluttered one last part in my home this weekend (the storage area) and identified many items still usable but not serving me well anymore. Some are given away free and some are being sold online.

I made $20 so far from these sells.

This will go to the animal shelter to help support these institutions and the cats/dogs they shelter 🙂

Hope to sell other items to increase this amount.

Please consider a similar activity; clean and clear your home and consciousness, remove those items that do not serve you or give you joy anymore, let them find new homes, and help those defenseless and innocent pets that require us to do something in turn. After all, we humans are the reasons that they lack their natural habitat and are killed/hurt for no good reasons at the streets or shelters.

Best.

conscious spending and emotions

I have been looking at my weekly budget, expenses, and savings and I cannot help but feel weird about the entire change.

yep, I used the term “weird”. Only because it defines the situation very well.

There are a number of things that I find weird in this journey of limiting the waste (food or funds), limiting the expenses (fixed or flexible ones), increasing my savings and thus the health of my chequing account (primary reasons I have started this at the first place;  I ran out of cash after buying my home and the unexpected expenses that followed it).

First of all, it is weird that the less I consume/spend the more I am content. Was it not supposed to be the opposite? Feeling deprived? Restricted? Incapacitated?

Second of all, why do I feel less to pamper myself with dining out, books, or convenience, such as taking the cab everywhere? How come I am content with waiting and taking the bus every morning?

Third of all, how come my grocery bill has reduced around 30% though I am not missing anything?

Fourth of all, why looking at my expenses in each category and seeing  that I can actually live on a much smaller budget than even the current one (which is considerably less than the last year’s and the years’ before it)? Has there been no inflation, no increase in my daily needs?

Fifth of all, how come I get a pleasure out of making the best out of my cash by price comparison and following the on sale items each week (I just shop at 3 different stores and the majority of the time at two grocery stores in 10 min walking distance to my house)

And finally, how have I been continuing with this entire conscious spending plan as if it has been something like an interesting game or project that excited me?

Feeling, my friends, make many things weird. I am aware that my emotional health has some influence on my spending and my need for convenience; when I am happy or not stressed or saddened, I am more likely to go ahead with my conscious spending plan. For example, when I am stressed or lack the time, I do not hesitate to take the cab to save me some time. When I am drained or do not feel like going thru cooking a dinner, I am more likely to buy myself a dinner.

In turn, spending less and feeling more abundant and enabled by the increased savings reduce my anxiety and worry for the future unexpected and serious expenses. That has a positive influence on my emotional health. I have more hope and more power over my future expenses. I kind of feeling like I act like a bank for myself… Interesting feeling….

And the fact that I do not completely restrict myself and always have some funds available for “miscellaneous or fun” expenses. I know, for example, every once a while I am okay with buying a book or two and get excited like a little kid. I know that I will never refrain from some of my little indulgences, such as weekend coffee+bagel breakfasts. Even though time to time, I choose to trade these with something that I may like better; such as stocking up certain durable items that are on sale that week. Only because the idea makes me excited. Not because I cannot afford both my breakfasts and purchasing the items on sale.

I also know that every once a while I must make larger expenses, such as for cleaning products or other regular needs that I buy at a store a little bit distant from my home (thus I make the trips to this store only once a while). The weird thing is that I started to feel bad about making such large expenses. I know I need them and will use them; so why do I start to have remorse about spending something like $100 – $200 in a single shopping trip?

I have been thinking about this “weird” feeling triggered by making such a purchase last week and I do not like this; I do not like not liking making expenses that can seem more than what I usually make every week. I do not want  to end up like someone who would not spend her money. I do not want to feel bad about making purchases (the unnecessary purchases are exemptions). I do not want to hang on to my money so much that I would be reluctant to share it with others in need. I do not want to love money so much that it would become the most important focus of my life….

So the irony is that while I am very happy and proud of my budget and conscious spending habits (that I re-formed in the last 8 months or so), I am not happy with making it an important part of my life. Even the number of posts I have made about money, budget, budgeting, savings etc. have increased considerably as I started to make more progress and I got more excited. Even this post is an example of what an important topic it has been in my life and how eager and excited I am to write about it.

Do I not have more important things to get excited about?

I think it is time that I develop and start implementing another challenge/plan to make my life better. Also, it is the perfect time to donate for a good cause.

Yep.

 

 

 

food prices

Looks like all of a sudden the grocery prices have increased where I am. I bought 5 tomatoes for $9.5 this past week. The first time I have spent that much on tomato…

Tomato is not one of the indispensable veggies in my diet. I hardly crave for it and rather have it as something that will create variety in my salad. Hardly use it in meals as well. But this week I wanted to eat tomatoes and, boy, the price almost shocked me.

Where I am we are mostly dependent on food grown in other places. Theoretically that means our food prices are already higher than other provinces in Canada. I used to live in Toronto; I know very well how abundant and affordable food is there. Variety is also awesome there. I miss shopping there.

Anyways, the reason I am writing this post is not to complain about the tomato prices. But I must admit seeing other bloggers spending much less than what I do for a much smaller amount of food somehow makes me wonder. For example,  the store Aldi seems to be selling food/grocery at good prices and unfortunately we do not have it here. Why not?

I am sure for many of you paying $9.5 for 5 medium sized tomato is something unbelievable. But believe me it is the truth. I want you to know I am not jealous or something; I just hope that you are grateful for what you can get at much lower prices than what others like me can.

Overall, the Canadian economy is not in good shape, with the announcement of a much increased amount of deficit today by the Minister of Finance;  sometimes I find myself thinking whether I am doing good with keeping my money in the bank or investing in stock market. What if we were to experience something similar to what Greece had last summer? What if we cannot have access to our own money? What if all goes wrong and  we lose what we already have?

I sometimes wonder how the people during the great recession (1927) or war-thorn countries survived the financial hardship and find food to survive. I also wonder about the poor families out there who are struggling to find food.

I will start including food in my joy journals and will remember to give my thanks when I purchase and eat them. I will also make sure to donate to food banks more frequently.

random thoughts

Working from home in the last two days was very refreshing and effective – a big document is now almost finalized, which always gives contentment and happiness 🙂

All of a sudden today, the temperature got low. I do not know how low but even the jacket was not enough to keep warm. I will have to wear thicker clothes from today on. I think the summer is officially ended…

There are nice things about fall, though. The cooler temperatures makes me wear thicker clothes, which somehow makes me feel like I am pampering myself. This feeling originally was born when I purchased a dark brown short coat with a feathery-collar. The warmth around my neck was always something I had appreciated. While this coat is long gone, I imitate the feeling with scarfs in fall; it does help feel the same way (i.e. pampered). Also, I love it when the trees change colors; what a nice scenery the fall brings to us..

My efforts to declutter my living room, however slow, continues. I so far checked 30% of the books and sorted out those that will be donated. That translated into 2 large bags of books to be donated. I suspect maybe 3 or 4 more bags to come till I am finished. I feel like I can donate more books, but it is so hard to let them go especially if I have not read them lately. I gotta change my mindset about the books at home; I should see them as a library where there are many treasures to be read. That sure will help me to read them this time. And if next year I find out that I have not read them, then I should donate them, too.

I am thinking about purchasing a domain for this blog; but I am hesitant. When I decease, this blog should not decease with me (i.e. if I stop paying for the domain, they say they inactivate or remove the blog). Any of you have ideas? Cons and pros of switching to a domain? Please leave comments – Thank you.

joy journal – August 29, 2015

Joy, happiness, joy, happiness, joy! 🙂

  1. I am grateful for today; being well and sound, waking up, however late and tired.
  2. I am grateful for the beautiful, warm, and shiny day; it prompted me to do something other than my routine and spend time outdoors.
  3. I am grateful for catching the bus and going to a shopping mall area. I was right on time.
  4. I am grateful for donating the clothes I had sorted out while decluttering my wardrobe a while ago. It felt good 🙂 Hope they will find a new owner, who will appreciate them more than me.
  5. I am grateful for walking to another thrifty store – I ended up not purchasing anything this week. It is surprising but I am happy with my decision.
  6. I am grateful for deciding to go home to eat something rather than eating in a Chinese restaurant that I enjoy time to time.
  7. I am grateful for checking a store at the shopping mall and finding two beautiful art pieces! I fell in love with them right away. They are similar to each other (sold together), picturing a forest with amazing trees, amazing light, and fall colours. As soon as I put them on the walls, the atmosphere of my house changed for a better one. It looks, I do not know, different, beautiful, and like a home with a character. They both demand to be looked at and enjoyed. I love them and I love the fact that I purchased them 🙂 I would like to buy more beautiful stuff to give my home what it deserves.
  8. I am grateful for taking the bus back from the shopping mall. Again I did not wait too much, so it was an easy ride. I feel lucky 🙂
  9. I am grateful for changing my Saturday routine by going to the stores today. I did clean my home upon my return and I am still not done with the laundry, but it is well worth having this change.
  10. I am grateful for aerating and cooling down my home.
  11. I am grateful for the new mats on my bathrooms. There was an immediate face lift. I am not into having a lot of stuff, but I guess some things are really good. A nice change, nice colours, nice feelings 🙂
  12. I am grateful for cooking a nice meal for myself tonite, even though I was late because of shopping and then house chores. It turned out to be tasty and healthy.
  13. I am grateful for not eating too much bread today 🙂
  14. I am grateful for realizing how tired I got up this morning. No, I did not like being tired. But I liked the fact that my body was talking to me to take better care of it. I better eat healthier food. Also walk whenever I can.
  15. I am grateful for finding additional art-work that one of my friends had given me as a gift. It is a little four-piece stuff that just looks cute. I just need a place for them to hang on. Hmmmm…
  16. I am grateful for having only good news today.
  17. I am grateful for today being Saturday and tomorrow being Sunday. I can enjoy my time, relax as I please, and take my time with the things I have to do around the house.
  18. I am grateful for the handyman, who will come tomorrow and do some minor work for me. It is really nice to have someone to do stuff that I am not capable of doing myself.
  19. I am grateful for not being too frugal and preferring today to buy the art-work that makes a positive difference in my life. I really like that, as some of the stories of the frugal people are a little bit too much… I do not believe in restraining myself that much, at least not yet. As a matter of fact, after today’s experience, I decided to buy more for my living room and the bathrooms. I am thinking maybe a blue art-work for the living room, right across from the couch that will give a feeling of “freshness and clarity”. For the bathrooms, something colorful and lovely; maybe some flower pictures. Come to think about it, I have many pictures that I can print and hang on to my walls… Time to do this 🙂
  20. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: