2015 Budget — 2 Months Late.

I have some lofty (finance-dependent) goals for 2015, two of which include getting my CrossFit Level 1 Certification and hopefully enrolling in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. And both have hefty price tags to fulfill – CF Level 1 certification runs at $1,000, and the IIN requires the full amount upfront or monthly payments. Even if IIN, doesn’t happen THIS year, I want to start to take the steps of making a plan for it to happen sooner than later.

Saving money = “budgeting”. I use this term loosely since I don’t see myself making up an Excel spreadsheet to enter every dime I spend in the near future (although, that could be effective now that I think about it…). But I do know a few areas where more awareness could keep more money in savings instead of spending it on random Target runs.

Here are 4 little things I’m trying to do to keep myself on the path of becoming a CrossFit and health coach:

1. Set allowance for CFAerial – This just comes down to not making so many random purchases or charges on my account for things like FitAid or Fuel for Fire after every WOD. If I commit to a good protein powder, like SFH, this keeps my costs down during the week. Plus, I’d rather put my money towards hats/clothing as we get more merch in. The $20 of FitAid could be put towards a hat!

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Hi, I’m Kelsey, and it has been a week since my last FitAid.

 

2. One movie night out a month ($5 Tuesdays!) – Matt and I love going to the theater for a good movie, and it is something we haven’t been doing as of late – too expensive! not enough time! – since the excuses just tend to pile up! Since at least one good movie should be out each month, I think movie date nights would be fun for us to put back on the radar! And since our theater does $5 movies on Tuesdays, the cost definitely goes down! Heck, we could even start doing more Redbox movies…as long as we remember to return them! There is nothing wrong with a movie night at home.

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Redbox nights would mean more kitten snuggles – FOR IT!

 

3. Less eating out – This whole budget thing has been on my mind since we changed over to 2015, so I’ve definitely started to put a few of these ideas into action. This is definitely an area we are doing REALLY well in, and I’m super proud of that! We’ve been staying committed to our meal plan, and making sure we choose “quick” meals week-to-week since it is easier for us to get motivated after work when we know dinner will  only take a half hour! As we continue this, it will certainly make dinners out more of a special date night for the two of us, which is how those nights out should be spent.

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I mean…when we can make foods like this, why go out?

 

4. Less Starbucks, more at home, and more Spark! – At the end of 2014, my Starbucks stops were becoming a bit ridiculous. And most days, I was just stopping for the mental pick-me-up instead of the caffeine effects that would certainly follow. I’m so glad I’m saving more money this way! I loaded my Starbucks card for the first time when I was flying to Fort Myers from Charlotte at the start of my Florida vacation – and this was mostly because I was purchasing a celebratory Flat White and the cute You Are Here Charlotte mug. Spark has been my caffeine of choice, and I really prefer it over coffee, and even black tea! It slowly eases you into energy, plus keeps me more focused. No more coffee jitters or anxiety? I’ll take it!

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Completely necessary airport Spark

 

5. Keep TRACK – Yes, I did say I probably won’t make a spreadsheet anytime soon, but I’m not going to totally throw out the thought. I’m now just keeping track of day-to-day purchases on my notes app. Even though it doesn’t really have a system to it, or a true tracking benefit, it does allow me to see as I enter purchases. If too much random pops up, I know its time to rein in that spending!

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As long as this little love lets me write said purchases down…

 

And most importantly – 6. Think before I buy. In the past, I’ve definitely just bought stuff because A) I wanted it and B) I had the money in my bank account. Now – I’m just trying to think practical on what I’m spending my money on! Taking the time to think about those purchases has already done wonders, and has saved me money at the same time.

How do you budget your money? And do you have any tips for me? 

Flying Over the Gulf…

**Note: I wrote this post a little over a week ago, but it felt worthy of sharing! Enjoy!**

That’s what I did today! And please excuse me this morning, as my thoughts will ramble. When you wake up at 4:06am, it is just what happens.

$10.95 is sometimes the price you have to pay to entertain your mind as you fly over the Gulf of Mexico. And honestly, I really don’t mind. Frozen wasn’t sounding “good” to watch, and since I watched TFIOS coming down and Silver Linings Playbook with my mom two nights ago, I am all out of movies as I fly on home to Minnesota.

Quite frankly, life has been life since my last post, which happened on the last day of 2014. I had intentions of getting into this blog life again, with more motivation and desire than ever before. And it just didn’t happen. Although we wake up every day with the ability to make whatever choices we may like, I was taking that time to relax with my loves after work, and spending my mornings training for my first CrossFit competition.

I have this unexplainable desire to follow my dreams in 2015, and to live my most authentic life. With the craziness that still followed into the New Year and into January, I didn’t feel that fresh start. As February hit, life started to move towards a feeling of fresh starts and new beginnings. As my CrossFit competition approached and my vacation to Florida to see my mom came closer as the days went by, I knew this was an opportunity for me to own today and make 2015 happen.

So here it is. Here is my New Year’s post to you, to those of you to take the time to read my posts and follow this sporadic schedule called life.

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No questions – just your kind words. 

Lately…

Lately, life has seemed to feel pretty amazing, depsite the nights where insomnia hits or we have to muster up all our energy just to get dinner in our stomachs. But so is life, and I’m so unbelievably happy with this season of my life.

And it is also crazy to think that tomorrow is a new year. The past few years, I haven’t been too big on making a long list of resolutions. But I still happen to love the idea of a clean slate. The idea of being able to have a day that wipes everything clean is lovely.

Katrina, a fellow MN blogger herself, did a lately-esque post a couple weeks ago, and it felt ‘right’ for my last post of 2014. It will be interesting to follow this as the years pass…

 

reading / Yes Please by Amy Poehler. It’s amazing. Go buy it now.

loving / our little Lumi and my amazing Matt. The down time I’ve been giving myself. Currently, it is just the simple things in life.

listening / to Lorelai + Rory on Gilmore Girls. I’m a little obsessed with Gilmore Girls.

thinking / about how I should go grab the laundry, take a shower, and get the office cleaned up.

impressing / myself with the amount of downtime I’m giving myself.

wishing / I could be with my momma in Florida.

wearing / VS PINK sweats, a Target men’s flannel, and Minnetonka moccasins. Rocking my best weekend wear.

wanting / a cup of Starbucks and a date night.

needing / a shower. Because greasy hair is EW.

admitting / that I should do our clothes laundry. NOW. But, Netflix and kitty cuddles are winning.

feeling / antsy about being back in the gym. Darn DOMS in my tricep is making me crazy. And making me miss my gym family.

Sunday Coffee Talks 12.28.14

Kick back, relax, and grab your cup of coffee. Or tea. Or hot water with lemon. Whatever you want in your mug, fill it up and join the talk.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d mention how there isn’t much on my mind today. Usually when Sunday rolls around, there is so much I’d like to share. But I think my extended weekend of rest is paying off. I feel so much more relaxed. Who knew spending my weekend watching Gilmore Girls with a snuggly kitten could make me feel so good?

If we were having coffee today, we’d exchange stories about our Christmases, and talk about the gifts we received. I’d mention the beautiful Pandora charms my momma sent me, a beautiful ceramic Starbucks tumbler from Matt, and money from my dad (which he mentioned to NOT pay bills with). And the excitement continues into this afternoon when we head to Matt’s parents.

If we were having coffee today, I would hope you would come over to enjoy it with me in our cozy home. I’m at a point where I’d love to entertain more in our home. At the same time, I’d excuse the bit of mess that we have going on. Bringing a kitty into your home occupies more of your time than you would think. I’d also be a little embarrassed to tell you the amount of laundry I’m tackling today.

If we were having coffee today, sharing my excitement for the new year would most definitely come up. Even though I’m always looking for changes throughout the year, the thought of a clean slate just makes me smile. I have a new planner from A Beautiful Mess that I’m so excited to use, and possibly another excitement venture for the new year…

 

+ What are your thoughts on this last Sunday of 2014?

Oh Christmas.

Amanda wrote this post last Monday, and I honestly just couldn’t help myself, especially when she patterned the questions red and green! My Christmas spirit has been weak in years past, but that all changed this year. Matt and I bought our first Christmas tree – and we are totally smitten by it’s cuteness. It is a gorgeous Alberta Spruce…that we so lovingly bought at Target. Hey, it was $33 dollars and I couldn’t say no.

Egg Nog or hot chocolate?
This year, I’m honestly all about the nog from So Delicious (it’s made with coconut milk!). Mixed with some chai tea? Totally delicious.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wrapped on up — or draped with a sheet? This was the method by the Santa that visited my dad’s house. All the gifts on the couch, then covered up with a sheet.

Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
We are lovers of the white lights. Simple and elegant is what I think.

Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. I think I’ve only been to one Christmas party with mistletoe, but don’t even remember when that was.

When do you hang your decorations up?
This year? Right after Thanksgiving. I think in the future, I want to hold off so it still stays special to have those decorations up! Especially when I have kids.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Honestly – I couldn’t tell you! Matt’s mom usually makes an amazing dinner, but the menu changes every year! My aunt used to make an oriental salad using the ramen noodles + seasoning, but I haven’t had that in years.

Favourite holiday memory as a child?
The last Christmas when my parents were still together is really memorable. I just remember sleeping in my sister’s room – and thinking we had heard reindeer! We would always grab our stockings, and climb into our parent’s bed, as we waited for my dad to come home from his night shift. Once he was home, the real presents started! Otherwise, I just loved being able to be with family.

What is on your Christmas wish-list?
A new ghd straightener is on there, but I’m going to save any money I get to put towards it, considering it is $100+. Otherwise, I am hoping for a speakable necklace from Gracie’s site and a DOT collection mug from Starbucks. I’m pretty simple this year!

Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?
Yes! It happens every year, no matter what the plans are! Matt and I usually open ours on Christmas Eve since we can’t wait another day. My mom used to let us open one present on the Eve, and the rest in the morning. It was always exciting to be able to chose that one present to open.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
This year – white lights with a hodge podge of ornaments. It’s a little tree, so it’s already filled up! In the coming years, I still want to keep it eccentric, and maybe add some garland and fun fake flowers.

Snow? Love it or dread it?
I think I’m a lover since I’ve stayed in MN for my entire life! My only dread is driving in it with my own car. My Honda Accord doesn’t handle the snow at all.

Real tree or fake tree?
Fake! I think at some point in our future, we will do the real tree (at least once!)

Do you remember your favorite gift?
My Bitty Baby, hands down.

What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Being with family and making it a memorable time.

What is your favourite holiday dessert?
Is it weird that I don’t have one? I love my mom’s pepperkokker cookies! Otherwise, any dessert Matt’s mom makes around the holidays is always a favorite; I think I like how it changes a bit year to year!

What is your favourite tradition?
Stockings on Christmas morning!

What tops your tree?
A Santa hat. Because it works.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
“Giving… even though the process of trying to find the perfect gift stresses me out to the max.” Amanda summed it up perfectly, considering I was pretty stressed about it this year! I always want the gift to be juussttt right. Receiving is my favorite when the gifts are handmade – makes me all happy on the inside!

What is your favorite Christmas song?
I really just love all the classics. Put on the Christmas Pandora station, and I’m a happy lady!

Candy canes, yuck or yum?
Meh. I don’t mind them, but don’t feel like I need to have one during the Christmas season.

Favorite Christmas Movie?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version) & the classic Rudolph.

What do you leave for Santa?
Cookies + Milk, and carrots for the reindeer. That was always most important. I think there was one year we left notes, and had responses in the morning!

Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Stockings. Santa gifts. Brunch. That is what is was growing up. Now, still the stockings and then we sometimes have to head to either my dad’s or Matt’s parents’ in the afternoon.

Do you prefer to shop online or at the mall?
50/50 for sure. Some things just have to be bought online + you can find some better deals. I still love the activity of going out and shopping; I just try and keep it to one or two days!

Christmas letter or Christmas card?
Christmas card will probably always be my choice, once we get in a rhythm of doing them. I like the idea of doing a mini-infograph like I’ve seen on some templates!

Marvelous in My Monday {1}

As much as I love weekends filled with plans and coffee dates, sometimes I just need a little downtime to prepare for the week ahead. And really, I should get all that Christmas stuff in order, but I’m halfway ahead, so I’ll take it. I’ll have to find some time this week to get everything wrapped and shop (gasp!). I hope that I can find the time to get ahead next year… Anyways, here is my first marvelous link-up with Katie!


 

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Marvelous is… Spending the end of last week and this weekend getting our wonderful kitten, Lumi, transitioned into our wonderful home. So far, she’s the biggest fan of cuddles, running around at our heels, and play play play…until she needs a nap on the back of the couch.

Marvelous is… Getting boxes in the mail! The first was from the Insta giveaway I won from Julianna, which was an amazing box of Skoop protein and a whole bunch of other goodies (I’ll have to post a photo of all the goodie later this week!). The second? Our Christmas presents from my mom! We are waiting until at least Christmas Eve to open them, but I’m excited that they are here.

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Marvelous is… Figuring out that coffee, chai tea and almond milk holiday nog make the perfect combo. Seriously. And water is good. Always.

Marvelous is… Sore muscles after a hero WOD done with my amazing partner, Mary, on Saturday. Who would have thought air squats and pull-ups could leave you oh so sore. And on top of a challenging competitor’s class on Sunday. Love that I’m back into normal WODs – felt good to have the lungs burning!

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Marvelous is… Taking Sunday morning to relax with my kitten, catch up on more Gilmore Girls and meal planning for the week ahead.

{Super} Marvelous is… A shorter work week! Two full days at the start of the week, a half day, a day off (oh hey Christmas Day!), and “I don’t know” Friday — it hasn’t been decided on what is going to happen! But I’ll take it!

+ Has Gilmore Girls sucked you in yet on Netflix?

+ Are you looking forward to a short work week? 

+ Best coffee / tea combo you’ve had or created?

Thinking Out Loud / #6

Thinking out loud today – and it’s been awhile. As always, a thank you to Miss Spoons for hosting this amazing link-up!

1. I have a niece! She was blessed into this world Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 11:08am. She weighed a mere 7lb 11oz, and is 21 inches long. I’m smitten at 200+ miles away, and cannot wait to meet this little peanut! As of today, we are still waiting to hear a name for this precious little angel.

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2.Matt and I just started the last season of HIMYM on Netflix…and we don’t know how we feel about it. The whole 55+ hours being the entire season is a little much and has left one too many cliffhangers, but we will persevere and finally meet the mother!

3. Last Friday, we had our Christmas dinner with my work. It was at Osaka Hibachi Steakhouse — and we had such a fantastic time. On top of the great dinner we had, we were given gift cards for Best Buy + Black Woods Restaurant. While we thought about put our $100 at Best Buy towards a TV, we had more fun buying some moves. Steve McQueen collection for Matt, Frozen for myself, and the entire Harry Potter collection for the both of us. We are a little stoked for the Harry Potter marathon to happen in the future!

4. A Beautiful Mess has become a central hub of pure inspiration for me, and I am loving the products they are releasing. I’m now a subscriber to their Happy Mail each month (!!!) and bought (another) planner. This was my Happy Mail for November. #organizednerdstatus #snailmailalways

**I had a photo up but it seems to be malfunctioning; I’ll add it in tonight once I’m back home. In the meantime, take time to watch Elise and Emma unbox the December Happy Mail kit (and then get yourself signed up!).**

5. This video = wow. Me, the early bird. Matt, the night owl. Any have any advice? =)

6. I was randomly texting my amazing blend-turned-best-friend Laura today about all things life, when I suddenly had an amazing blog name idea pop into my head – Boundaries and Balance. I fell in love with it in that moment. Just as Ramblings of Change fits my mission as I become a blogger, I think Boundaries and Balance works as well. I think we all get to a place of needing to set up boundaries in hopes of feeling like we are in control. Balance plays a huge part in that as well. #bloggerprobs?

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