Monday, June 30, 2008

Splurge and Savings

I have two favorite items. One has been a favorite for a while, and one I just discovered recently.

The one that's been around for a while is not cheap. It's a splurge item that I still insist on getting because it makes me eat my salad.

Oh mylanta, this is stuff is delicious. So far I've only been able to find it at AJs Market (I believe they only exist here in Arizona) and it's $6.00 a bottle. But seriously folks, it's the BEST. DRESSING. EVER.

I made a salad last night that consisted of spinach and strawberries and candied nuts. I poured a little of this dressing in a bowl and added poppy seeds and about a teaspoon of dried onions. It was simply marvy. Seriously. Oh. So. GOOD!

Like I said, it's a splurge, but one you won't regret and will find you'll need always. And again, it gets me to eat my veggies.


Now, talk about random, but the one that's a new discovery is a cheap alternative to pedicures. (Okay, so what's wrong with doing a single blog post about salad dressing and pedicures?)

I am going to San Francisco later this week and am in dire and desperate need of a pedicure (seriously GROSS FEET!). I didn't want to spend the money on one, but was considering it because though logically you would think, "Just give yourself one," physically I'm a pedicure moron. I won't explain, just know I have problems (if you know me, that's a given anyway - HA!).

I then remembered my cousin then my sister and eventually my roommate talking about this little contraption - The PedEgg. I purchased one on Saturday for $9.99 (the cheapest pedicure is $25) and proceeded to make my feet look and feel like a baby's bottom. Oh. So. Wonderful.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Ellie Bellie!

You're THREE years old today and what a fun character you are! I love you sweetie...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I don't get tagged all that often, so when I do, I feel I need to respond. Please bear with me (and thanks muchly Jen H.). I've been "TAGGED" and must now share 3 joys of mine, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 obsessions/collections, & 3 random or surprising facts. Then I tag 5 more people at the end. Here I go:


1. I actually have 19 joys - James, Jonni, Jake, Jackson, Travis, Dylan, Bryndee, Porter, Torie, Kymber, Abby, Ellie, Taralee, Raegan, Kalli, Tyler, Sydney, Andrew, and Max. These are my nieces and nephews and nothing and no one makes me happier than these critters. I thank Heavenly Father every night for them.

2. Music - I love music. I love the way it makes me feel, I love hearing it and making it and never tire of it. There's not a lot of music out there that I don't enjoy, and if I don't enjoy it, then I probably don't really count it as music anyway.

3. Family togetherness - I LOVE it when my entire family makes an effort to get together. I love the chaos that it always brings and I love the sense of stability I get when I am with my family. Granted when we are all together, there's a good chance a lot of JOY isn't around (we have a tendenancy to be a little hot headed at times - shocker, I know), but if I had my druthers, we would all live near each other and be more in each others' lives on a regular basis.


1. Losing any member of my family to death. I can't even think about it without tearing up. I pray I won't have to deal with this for a very long time.

2. Creepy crawly things, especially spiders. I am so afraid that they are going to land on me or crawl on me or even jump up on me. It's an irrational fear, but it's very real and I HATE them!

3. Having the bottom fall out in my life before I get to pay off all of my debt. Seriously - with the economy the way it is right now, it's a very real fear, one that's always in the back of my mind.


1. Get completely out of debt.
2. Establish some savings.
3. Purchase a house.


1. Shoes - it doesn't matter how fat or thin or pretty or ugly you are, if you got cute shoes - ALL IS WELL!

2. "Lost" - based on recent posts, need I say more?

3. The Cooking Channel - I don't cook. It's just me, myself, and I and it's too messy to cook for just one, not to mention I'm not a huge fan of eating my own cooked meal (weird, I know). But I LOVE the Food Network and some of their regulars on there: Rachael Ray, Giada DeLaurentis, Ina Garten, Tyler Florence, Paula Deen just to name a few. My sisters absolutely LOVE it when I tell them how to do something when I see they're not doing it the way the experts on TV do it (sarcasm really doesn't come over well in the written word).


1. I lettered in high school
2. I can stick my entire fist in my mouth (SO not proud of this one...)
3. I type 118 WPM with 0 errors (great free testing site:

TAGS: I tag Melanie, Bryndee, Brenda Whiz, Cousin Kristen, and Tricia! Love you all...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love old friends...

A few posts ago, I mentioned that my childhood home burned down.

My old friend from that neighborhood did a tribute to our home on a recent blog post. Her memories of our house sparked many more of my own and I appreciate you Allyson for your kind words and thoughts.

Take a look: Tribute

Lost Season 3

I don't really know what to say here to tie Lost Season 3 in with my getting out of debt. All I know is I am hooked. Hook. Line. And Sinker!

That's it.

Lovely People

In my quest to get out of debt, I have met or have been reacquainted or have strengthened friendships because of how I'm being so public about this very private issue.

Melinda is a girl that I met through my roommate a couple of years or so ago. She's a cool, awesome girl who makes and sells fabulous jewelry (I own several pieces of hers that I've purchased throughout the years - all with cash thankyouverymuch). I recently was reacquainted with her through another friend of mine who had a vendor fair in her home, where Melinda had a booth.

Melinda found out about my blog through my roommate and has been reading it off and on for a while. When I saw her a few weeks ago, she mentioned it, mentioned how happy for me she was for what I was doing, and wanted to reward me.

I couldn't believe she wanted to reward such bad decisions, but she said she was rewarding the good decisions of conquering the bad. She then let me choose a favorite piece of jewelry that was on display and I immediately went to this:

The moment I walked in the door, this was the first piece I saw and fell in love with (if you know me at all, green is my all time favorite color, and this particular shade of green is probably tops of all the shades). I don't know what the stone is, but it's awfully cool and it has turned into my favorite piece of jewelry that I own.

Thank you Melinda. This was not an easy gift for me to accept as I don't feel I deserve anything until all this debt is paid off completely by me. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, kindness, and especially for your talent and your willingness to share it with others!

She doesn't know I'm doing this, but I wanted to give her a plug. Please visit Melinda's website and see for yourself: - you will love anything you get from her!

A Cheaper Alternative

One of my all time favorite things to eat are desserts (as you can obviously tell by my svelte figure). My all time favorite dessert is a chocolate croissant. I don't get them very often because, well, they're really fattening not to mention it's an extra cost that I don't need to spend (though that doesn't stop me from getting them every once in a while [smile]).

I recently read in a magazine about a cheaper alternative to chocolate croissants. You get the Pilsbury crescent rolls and add chocolate chips to them before you roll them up and bake them. It sounded intriguing to me so I tried it last night (the picture above is a "real" chocolate croissant - the picture below is my attempt at the alternative).


The buttery goodness of those rolls were so divine with the chocolate in the middle. It's a perfect blend of savory and sweet, but not too sweet (I prefer semi-sweet chocolate over milk chocolate - dark chocolate would be even better but I didn't have dark chocolate chips).

Not to mention for about the cost of one chocolate croissant from the bakery, I was able to make eight of them. Much smaller and of course the quality is not near as good, but still, a great, cheaper alternative.

Happy Birthday Sydney and Kalli!

Sydney Rae Kerby, you are a whopping SIX years old today! Have fun riding the horses tonight. I love you!

Kalli LaRue Kerby, you turned NINE on Saturday and I wish I could have been there to celebrate your birthday with you. I love you sweetie!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

(My dad with Max, Andrew, and Tyler Kerby - they all LOVE their Grandpa!)

You're 67 years young today. I sure do love you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not related to finances in any way...

I grew up in two homes - one in west Mesa from the age of 0 to 15, and the 2nd one in east Mesa from the age of 16 to whenever I moved out as an adult.

I drove by the first one yesterday and found this:

Apparently it burned down just Saturday morning (today is Tuesday) and they're not sure why. It was sad to see my childhood home in such a mess (and so incredibly ugly too - it was MUCH cuter when we lived there - thanks Mom and Dad for keeping our homes so nice).

Anyway, I keep looking at this picture, remembering where certain rooms were, where my piano sat, where the kitchen window was located - totally going down amnesia lane. Lots of good memories were made there and I guess in the end, that's all we really need anyway.


As of today, my debt totals are:

Bank of America (stupid bank): $33,784.39
Mastercard: $2,235.91
GE Care Credit (for my dental stuff): $2,168.50
AZFCU (car): $7,175.33

GRAND TOTAL: $45,364.13

The last time I did an update in February (four month ago), the number was almost exactly the same. This is very discouraging. I know I had to add the dental stuff on there, and I KNOW that the 18.99% is killing me for the BofA loan (which I'm eventually going to put on a couple of low interest rate cards), so I shouldn't get too discouraged because I have a plan, right?

Blech. I'm tired of plans. I just want to get me out of this mess!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I've Learned From "Lost" (Season 2) So Far...

I'm really struggling with this one. I LOVED Season 2. A lot more than Season 1 actually. It was a lot more intense, crazy story lines, strange characters introduced, and on and on and on.

But seriously - POLAR BEARS?

Anyway, finding a debt message out of this season has proven interesting to say the least.

Okay - here goes. A lot of this season was about faith. Faith in ourselves, faith in the island (??), faith in each other. My faith in getting out of debt is strong. My will, on the other hand, not so much. I'm constantly working on that.

But I have faith. Actually, I HAVE to have faith to keep going. This has been one of the most exhilarating and hardest things I've ever EVER had to do and though my will many times seems very weak, my faith has always remained strong.

I know I'm doing the right thing and that this is absolutely the best thing for me. I seriously can't wait to be done with it all and move on to other goals. This has helped me realize I CAN make a goal and work to achieve it. I've never been very good at that and have actually never been a fan of making goals to begin with. I always thought that all they are are promises to yourself that you can make or break if you wanted. Why do something that I could easily fail at, since I am NOT a fan of failure or even the option of failing.

Anyway, a whole other topic there.

It's all about faith.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Birthday James!

Today is my oldest nephew's birthday. He's 24 years old, he's a husband and daddy and I sure love him a lot.

Happy birthday James Allan Julian! Love you bud.

What I've Learned From "Lost" So Far...

Okay, in order to justify my watching "Lost" every waking moment is I have to glean something from it and apply it to my debt struggle.

This may be stretching but...

In the first season (which I finished last night), one of the characters talks about a caterpillar that turns into a moth. Not a butterfly but a moth. He said the butterflies are much prettier than the moths, but the moths' cocoon's are tougher and made out of silk and are harder to break out of.

He said he could very easily help that moth along by widening the hold in the cocoon, which would ease the moth's struggle of getting out. But our lives are made for struggles like this so we can be stronger in the end.

That's how I feel about this whole getting-out-of-debt process. I just want it to be over and done with NOW. But I need to struggle with it and chip it away little by little so I can be stronger in the end and will never find myself in this situation again.

I'm struggling and chipping away at this debt and even though this lesson totally does work for me and applies to me, I would still be completely okay if it was done with NOW (smile).

In a perfect world - maybe. As we all very well know, this isn't a perfect world and I absolutely do not live a perfect life. So here's to struggling a lot and getting stronger every day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stupid Bank of America

I'm so frustrated I could scream. I did a little when I was alone in my car yesterday.

As you all know, I have a line of credit with Bank of America. It's my biggest form of debt with the highest percentage rate (18.99%). Because of this, even though I've been paying on it for about a year now, It's only gone down about $1,500 (I pay $730 a month - zoiks, I know). This percentage rate is killing me and my plan.

So about once a month, I call Bank of America to see if they're willing to lower my percentage rate. Yesterday was the first time they patched me through to someone else besides the initial person who answers the phone. This was encouraging since it was the first time they've done this.

The person I spoke with asked me what I wanted - I told her I wanted and needed a lower interest rate to be able to pay off this loan more quickly. She asked me if I was planning on using any more of the money from it. I told her no. She then asked permission to pull my credit report. Okay. She did and came back stating my debt ratio was too high and therefore they couldn't grant me the smaller percentage rate.

How does this make any sense?!?

I told her my debt ratio is large because of the single LOC I have with them. My other two forms of debt are rather small amounts and this large amount remains large because of the huge interest rate. I told her I've never been late on a payment, in fact pay extra and have an impeccable history with them. Her response: "I'm sorry ma'am, your debt ratio is too high." That's all she said and wouldn't give any other answers. I hung up on her. I probably shouldn't have I know - but they're just STUPID.

I was livid yesterday, and as I type this, I'm getting angrier by the second.

Stupid Bank of America.

I will call again and ask for a manager or supervisor.

I HATE this stuff...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Torie!

Happy birthday to my darling, sweet, kind, hard-working, generous, beautiful niece Torie. This picture was taken yesterday and I appreciate her willingness to be a poser with her Aunt Tara.
Love you sweetie!