The Latte Factor Challenge….

The Latte Factor is a phrase coined from finance guru David Bach. The idea being that you take the money spent on your daily latte, invest it, and voila, you’re a millionaire! 

Works for me. 

Except for one thing. I don’t drink lattes, daily. But that’s actually not the point. The point I do spend money on something. Money that could be working for me. But what? I don’t know! 

I pack a lunch. 

Last week was the first time I had a vending machine diet coke in months. 

I shop at Goodwill. 

I shop at Costco. 

I drink water from my plastic, non BPA -lined reusable bottle. 

I complain about lights and appliances being left on like a dad from the 1950’s. 

Never owned a brand new car. 

My kid wears hand-me-downs. 

I recycle gift bags. 

So starting tomorrow I will track all my expenses for 7 days and see what my latte factor turns out to be. Cause all the obvious things don’t apply to me. (In my opinion.) 

I started listening to the Automatic Millionaire this afternoon. (Yes, I listen to audio books, learnin’ on the go!)  And I’m feeling more hopeful in regards to figuring out my finances. I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed on the matter as of late. I need to do something. But what?

Oh I know, let’s do a budget!  Cause I’ve been budgeting for 15 years and it’s worked out well and it makes me feel good and not like a total failure. 

Bach says forget budgets. Okay, I’m a believer! To paraphrase “Any system that suppresses your normal human urges will not be successful. Humans like to be in control not be controlled. ” 

Here’s what is crazy. Just last week I had this thought : If there was a way that I could save and invest my money first, then pay all my bills and do what I want with the rest I would be set. And that’s what this is. 

David lays out 6 routes to accumulating wealth in this country. 

1.) Win it 

2.) Marry it 

3.) Inherit it 

4.) Sue for it

5.) Budget for it

6.) Pay yourself first 

 Of course, pay yourself first! Simple. I know this. But, I have no clue what this actually means or how to do it.  Which is the point of the next 4 CDs. So, in the spirit of being action oriented I am going to track my expenses for one week. I actually don’t mind this considering  a couple months ago I itemized my spending for like 3 weeks with no actual goal in mind! I did date, place item and cost on every. single. thing. And got nothing out of it! I learned nothing cause I didn’t know what to look for. 

I feel like this author asks some good questions, is inspiring and most importantly, action-orientated. 

As Bach says “Inspiration without action is merely entertainment.” 





Let’s go to McDonald’s Play place…That Won’t be a Nightmare!

Said nobody ever. 

Caleb was crying in two minutes  The Play place is actually a vertical structure of tubes and slides of which children run through 100 miles an hour screaming and stomping. The acoustics are unbearable. It could literally be a bad dream. 

And does kid sweat smell like pee or did that kid just pee himself? Ugh. 

It actually made me laugh to think that this wouldn’t be the most annoying place on earth. 

But, in the interest of Family Fun, we preserved and made use of the 3 year and under playing area. Under the tubes of course. 

What was really funny though is how many parents were there relaxing. My nerves were shot. I did see one guy with headphones. That’s what I’m talking about! I think we’re good on the play place for a couple years. Maybe until Caleb is one of the banshie children and I’ve lost the tones in my hearing that make my ears bleed listening to those piercing shrills. I mean, when I become more appreciative to the sounds of delightful child’s play. Yeah, it’s gonna be a while. 

You’re a Girl….You Can’t Lift Weights

I don’t really think that, but I act it. I am seriously weight-phobic at the gym. And as far as working out at home, well there’s just too many things to clean here, who can focus? 

So what’s the worst thing that can happen if a girl lifts weights at the gym?

Well, I will tell you. I’ll do it wrong! All my years at the gym and I had one time last year a trainer actually corrected my form on the LAT pull down machine. Haven’t touched it since. Well I can’t when he’s there, cause of course he will remember me and tell his fellow track pant wearing trainer friends to look at me and they’ll all point and laugh and have some protein shakes. What a nightmare. OR he’ll think I have great form and not even remember the time I was terribly embarrassed and wanted to crawl away. It’s not a risk I have been willing to take. 

Until today. And yes, the trainer was there. He’s always there! 

I did chest and triceps, biceps and shoulders. It feels weird to do chest  weights, like I just think of guys with their bouncing pecs, lol. I did have a major faux though. This one machine you lean your back on the bar, I was trying to slide behind it! My, this a tight squeeze! Then, I moved a handle which adjusted something, I wasn’t sure what. I thought I was going to be folded in half at any moment! But I got  it eventually. 

All in all, it was a good workout and I look forward to being sore tomorrow 🙂 

But the best part was….NO CARDIO! Woo! And this was awesome because:

1.) I’m freakin sick of it! 

2.) Ran for over a year but twinged something in my foot shopping at Costco yesterday. Seriously?! I iced it for 2 hours at work. So yeah, no StairMaster today! 

But there is an Insanity class on Mondays. I’m tempted. But at the same time I’m kinda over this idea of getting insanely ripped, shredded or cut. I just want my knees to stop creaking! Baby steps, lol.

Side note :Josh just watched a video of a guy jumping on top of a 64 inch stack of weights. He goes “Why? I shouldn’t ever have to jump over an 8 year old.” True story. 




You Can’t be a Caveman if You Can’t Cook

I subscribe to a couple food pages on Facebook. Clean Food Living & Just Real Food. Not too long ago, one of them asked readers to comment on a question that was submitted to the page.

It went something like this: “I’m new to Paleo and need breakfast ideas. I have about 10 minutes in the morning to make food and my cooking skills are limited to hot dogs and Lean Cuisine. ”

My answer: Grow Up. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there may come a time in your adult life where you will have to brown meat in a pan. Gasp! Does anyone realize that cooking really is just making stuff hot? Yes, there are techniques and sure sometimes you may want things to taste good or be edible, or not look totally disgusting BUT it’s really not that hard.

But I digress. What really gets me about this is the common theme prevalent in our “healthy” culture.  And it’s that nobody wants to work.

Okay, I’m not talking Crossfit at 4 a.m. work, but more like just contribute to the process. Cause what’s amazing is that in doing so, this crazy thing called personal growth happens. And it’s wonderful!!! Rather than “I can cook a Lean Cuisine, tell me something Paleo I can make in 4 minutes cause I can’t get up 30 minutes before I have to leave” how about…”what are some basic cooking techniques I can learn to make these meals?” Or “Any tips for getting up earlier so I have 6 minutes to make an omelette while I brush my teeth?” Which can be done!

And the personal growth aspect, that’s all about momentum.  I went from eating Friday’s frozen baked potatoes (with extra sour cream) to homemade beef stew and veggies. All cause I tried. I cook all my meals now! I can, so can you,right? Wrong! YOU CAN CAUSE YOU CAN! Cause you’re a capable, intelligent, magnificent creature. Our cavemen ancestors discovered fire, hunted and killed everything they ate, the least we can do is turn the oven on to 350.

All Or Nothing….Yup That’s Me!

My fiance loves to tell me I’m an All Or Nothing person. Everything has to be perfect or it just sucks. Classic example, me cleaning up after dinner. Normal people wash up the dishes, put away food and maybe wipe down the stove. I do all that, wipe the counters, clean out the junk drawer, sweep the floor go through the mail pile. Cause if you can’t clean the entire kitchen why bother doing the dishes. duh. It’s very much If You Give a Dog Donut. That’s. My. Life. I’m either a perfectionist or OCD. OR chronic procrastinator. It all results in this beautiful medley of Never Getting Anything Done!

Well I do get it done, just not perfectly.  😉 

I tried to relax this week. I let clothes lay on the bathroom floor. Didn’t replace the toilet paper roll, let dishes sit. Didn’t take out the garbage every five minutes. Oh the humanity! But here’s the thing: I wasn’t any happier. It wasn’t stress relieving. I felt like a slob. AND I ate like a pig too. No dice.

I read a quote this week that said “The speed of a runaway horse counts for nothing.” I thought to myself, that could change my life! Think of the energy saved and results if the effort was well implemented.

Well, what I learned is, that I am who I am. And I LIKE IT! Yes, it does get exhausting sometimes. So rather than change, I need to tweak. See, I’m already coming around!! I like that I put energy and time into improving myself, but my new focus is going to be on consistency.  Being efficient on a daily basis so I don’t have to go on these benders to get things in order because I let it all slack from being worn out.

Now, I just need some time come up with a perfect plan and execute it daily without ever messing up and everything will be fine. Haha.



My Kid Has Been Asleep for 4 Hours!!!!!!!

Well, I didn’t want to leave today on a downer from my last post. So I’ll throw something upbeat (ish) out there. Caleb has been asleep since about 10. It’s now 2. I’m bored lol. I had all these plans today for “family” fun and yeah, they’re shot now. The things I wanted to do close at 4:30-5. Cause families stop having fun at 5 p.m. I guess the other bummer is that as a working mom I look forward to the extra time together on the weekend. Not today. But we did spend the morning together 😉 Ah well. I started my blog though, woo-hoo! 

I also have a feel that “family fun” is going to be the bane of my existence. As countless sitcoms have illustrated. “Family Fun” camping trip gets sidetracked by a blown tire or crabby teenagers. “Family Fun” dinner goes to the dogs, literally!  When little Tommy knocks the Butterball off the table. Good eatin for Fluffy! But the best part of Family Fun is the Mommy Meltdown. When Mom realizes that are all her efforts are in vain and unappreciated. This culminating in a tearful mascara-dripping display. Ahhhhh….so much to look forward to! 

But for today I’ll settle for being mildly disappointed and surprisingly productive. 

Happy Saturday! 


I Used to be Fat(ter)

Within the last 15 months I have lost about 60 lbs. 20 of which were from pregnancy. My son will be two in January. And yes, it feels great. My life has been pretty much re-vitalized will all the extra energy, both physically and especially mentally. But I realized something. I absolutely hate to be reminded that I was fatter at one point in my life. I don’t know why. It just makes me angry. Or maybe I’m embarrassed. That’s probably more accurate

I mean, I have so much momentum now. I really don’t look back. I donated all my “big” clothes, including bridesmaid dresses and winter coats. So yeah, I find it a little off putting when I’m reminded of how “big” I was.

Maybe I did look like a member of the Clump Family.  And the weirdest thing. Sometimes I want to apologize. Like how weird is that?! Sorry I was the Fat Friend, sorry we were food friends, sorry for being the Fat Person. I dunno. That kinda messed up. But it’s what’s in my head.

But at the end of the day, I’m proud of that Fat Girl. She counted calories, bought a jogging stroller and stuck with it. I remember being at a birthday party and not eating  a cupcake when everyone was eating one. And it was awkward. Skinny people aren’t obligated to eat. That’s why they’re thin. But Fat Girl, just one cupcake won’t kill you. Start your diet Monday. It sounds like a small thing, but looking back, it was pivotal.

I didn’t realize it but I stood up for myself that day. Nobody said anything about it, but I was waiting for it, dreading it. Now, if I don’t want a cupcake, who cares, right? Cause I’m “healthy”.

So I guess that’s what’s at the heart of the matter. I don’t need to be reminded that I was “big” or that (insert said person/people here) thought I was fat. I know, I was there.