Generally Nerdy

Breathe of Fresh Air

Ever had just crazy and busy week… some crazy-awesome and some crazy-crazy and it feels like weeks since you’ve looked up from all of it?

Ever have one of those moments where it gets quiet you sigh and wonder “what’s next?”

And then you get an answer from above and it looks like an email?

 

Here is what my answer looked like this afternoon… it was a moment where I just stopped, sighed and saw two phrases pop out on the page.

 

The email was from Benjamin Moore, my favorite paint store.

I opened the email asking myself

Really?  Trend color styles for 2014?

Really?  Trend colors for your home?

You are going to paint it every year? Mmm hmmm.

And 2014… already?

 

Good thing the webpage opened or else there would have been more thinking… anyways…here is what I saw.

Post 2013-10-03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first phrase that popped out to me was “Breathe of Fresh Air”… yes!  I could totally use one of those!

The second was “Flint”… that’s the city I went to school to earn my engineering degree.

 

I think this was the answer to my wandering question…

What’s next?  A breathe of fresh air… that draws upon my engineering experience. 

 

My shoulders relaxed.  My soul awoke.  My quiet moment to myself became inspired.

 

Ever have a seemingly random inspiration strike you at an unusual time?

The LIKE button

I’ve been on Facebook to connect more with people who inspire me.  I have found that I don’t always have the words to say but a simple click of the LIKE button seems to help me out.
Here are a few of my “responses” with that click.

  • I’ve got your back
  • Oh yeah!
  • Woo hoo
  • I hear ya
  • I’m here for you
  • Praying
  • Thinking of you
  • I was here
  • LIKE

Sometimes silent support is powerful.

Don’t be afraid to use this super power out in the real world.

Laura (Nerd)

 

My usually silent supporter… Harley.

2013-01-28 13.47.44

 

Pleasantly Surprised

I was typing an email to a friend and clicked “Send”.  Gmail popped up a message to me… it looked like this.

Attach - Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phew!  I don’t like sending a second email because I forgot to attach something on the first one.  Thanks google for the laugh and the reminder!

Some days we can stop and smell the roses and some days we are too busy for any interruption.  Some days I would rather yell at Google for a stupid error message, get out of my way!

 

We don’t get to control what happens to us… but we get to choose what we do about them and how we react to them.

Today I’m going to put my positive face on and try to go with the flow, as they say.

 

I hope you’ll join me and do the same!

Laura (Nerd)

A New Day

It’s been 806 days since I felt that I was important enough to write on my own blog.

Blogging Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In November of 2010 I was SO excited to share our story of paying off our debts, how we were working as a team, how Financial Peace University changed our lives and yet only six months later I stopped.

 

Work told me that I wasn’t important enough.  Colleagues ignored me.  I was getting sent to travel to Mexico for new programs for 18-24 months even after successful local (2 hours away) launches and even after giving up family time, after forgetting who my husband was, and after up-rooting my life.

Since then I’ve moved jobs 3 times.  I have the best job I’ve had in awhile and yet I still feel unfulfilled in my career.  I want to HELP people.  I want to CONNECT with people.  I want to do things FOR PEOPLE.

 

I know that I won’t be the best Manufacturing/Process/Industrial Engineer there is.  I feel it requires me to uproot my whole life for nondescript amounts of time and in the long run I don’t feel like it is a fit even though I have two degrees in it.  I can’t be the best but I can make it work.  I can work to be the best team mate, colleague, and person I can be today.

In the last year I have been run over, seriously harassed at work, pushed around, and I been disrespected.  Many of my colleagues of the last few years have enjoyed skirting responsibility and ignoring my requests.

Their puffed out egos give me the impression that they are putting on an act at work.  It is hard for me to be anything but authentic.

 

My struggles over the last few years has either resulted in random blow ups (to colleagues, family, friends, random nice people) OR in a Laura who is quiet, timid and a Laura who is afraid to START.

Today begins a new day.  Today I throw off the baggage and let the #haters stay at work.  I let the excitement follow me home and today I was able to accomplish two words with even the tough situations… I was able to BE NICE even when I didn’t want to.

 

I also Started.

It may be 806 days and it will not be 806 more.

Today I started, I made an effort, I found a new perspective, and I found two words to inspire…

 

Where do you want to be today?

What small things can make your tomorrow THAT MUCH BETTER?

I have your back, your hand and I have a shoulder for you too…We got this!

 

Laura (Nerd)

Paying down the Household Debt!

We started our journey in August so it’s been 8 months that we’ve been working the plan to get rid of our I.O.U’s to people.  These I.O.U’s are from student loans and house loans.  So where are we at?

We have paid off 10% of our debts in 8 months!    Our debt to income ratio is now under 2.5 AND we’ve figured out how to comfortably live on only 30% of our paycheck… 70% of our pay checks get us closer and closer to saying good bye to the people we still have I.O.U’s to.

If you’re on the fence or think that “living it up today” is more important I would recommend that you try a budget for 90 days… 3 monthly budgets.  Tell me after you push through those 90 days that there isn’t something that you’ve been spending too much on.  I’m not saying give up the necessities or even all of your extras but give it a try to start with what you make and figure out a plan for spending no more than what you make.

It will change your life.

I feel like I know the value of my choices and I choose to live within my means.

Can you say you’re making choices with thought?

Have a great week!

Your Nerd, Laura

Spring…

Today was the first afternoon to hit 50*F and the sun was out!  My sister came over while Dave(Super Nerd) was bowling. Sister and I took Emma, my black lab, for a long, long walk.  We splashed through puddles and Emma enjoyed drinking water from the streams.  We returned home and sat outside while the kitty was able to get out to chew on the grass.

We watched the movie Fever Pitch and tried a few drinks, like our very own Shamrock Shake (very good!).  It was nice to get out of the house, catch up on the latest life stories and relax in the middle of the week.

I’m looking forward to warmer days ahead!

~Nerd (Laura) ~

Struggles…

The last few weeks have been really great weeks… so why haven’t you heard about them?
Well first of all my allergies took over and then led to a cold so my available time to function like a regular human being was much less.  Looking back today I’ve realized that I was prioritizing my life without thinking about it.
* Groceries were not only purchased but there were great deals to go with them.
* The dog was fed and walked along with some extra trips outside the neighborhood.  We found ways to visit family with these extra adventures.
* We spent time with family, which required us to travel.
* We went to a charity event and gave.  We were a sponsor of the event, we participated in raffles, and we gave of ourselves, we were open with people we met and we thanked our friends for coming and supporting the event with us.
* We discussed budgets, spending and how to reduce spending to improve our debt payoff dates.
* I stopped blogging, missed book club, missed a new member meeting for a local women’s group, went home early to get rest and stopped worrying about it.  I’m supporting my family and my family is most important… and I showed it.  I was practicing my values.
Pretty sweet huh?
I think that growing up is much more than growing older.  It’s about finding what matters most to you and making it a habit.  Being there for family.  Supporting charities. Communicating about budgets, grocery shopping and life in general.  It’s also about being responsible.  It wasn’t in my best interests to go to meetings because… honestly I didn’t have the energy.  At first I was a little upset but I was too tired to worry about what other people thought.  I wasn’t lying or faking it… I just gave my notice and I headed to bed.
Life goes on with or without me.  I can only do my best for that moment in time.  It doesn’t mean that I will always neglect my blog or my book club neighbors forever… it just means that sometimes I need to look out for me, myself and I.
I wish that I could have this foresight and not worry all the time.  Too bad it takes getting sick to realize that I’m not Super Woman and I shouldn’t be upset when I aim high and don’t make it… at least I tried my best and I should be happy with myself for that.
I hope that you’re able to find what’s important to you today.
~ Nerd (Laura) ~

House Value

Yesterday the “Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation and Property Classification” came in the mail.

Because Super Nerd and I carpooled to work yesterday he was witness to the momentus unveiling of the 2011 house value number.

We lost over $5600 in house value since last year.

To which I offered a high five going YESSS less in property taxes for another year!

I mean c’mon… we live in a great area, we are meeting cool neighbors, we plan to be in the house til forever… so heck yeah I’m glad the value is down so we’re paying a little less this year!

Ohh.. that means my city won’t get as much in taxes this year and with Michigan needing to reduce budgets… That means the extra money we saved should go to a local cause that would help benefit more people… I’m thinking library donation this year.  I like it!  I’m so brilliant when I’m not fully awake and I’ve only talked to animal life forms.

Alright as I go and ponder my brilliance I need to get ready for work!  Thanks for stopping by!

~ Nerd (Laura) ~

Couponing…

I’ve tried couponing a few times before and my perfectionism sabotaged me A LOT…that’s not the right way to sort the coupons, You’re not doing it the way so-and-so said…accordion files/baseball file folders are the ONLY way to do it…Everyone else gets it,why can’t you…

I seemed to sort coupons and then not find them until it was after their expiration date. I wasn’t consistent which meant lots of expired coupons and lots of frustration and made me even more discouraged.
This time I ventured into couponing cautiously and very skeptically. I knew in order to reduce our grocery spending I would need to spend less on things I use every day.
I spent a few weekends in “couponing class”… it involved lots of searches online but it was like learning in a college class, many instructors, about a hundred internet windows open and very little time for even my husband, who didn’t seem to mind since he watched football ALL weekend with little interruption.
What did the classes teach me?

1. Do what works for you.

There is not ONE right answer… I promise! Look for a future post on this.

2. Start where you’re comfortable

I follow Bargains to Bounty for local stores like Kroger and Meijer and Money Saving Madness for drug stores.
I like doing 12 things at the same time… I don’t like being told to do 1 store with 1 website, but when push comes to shove I will only follow these two sites. Their formats make it easy to plan my shopping trips, even with only 20 minutes of focused time.
3. Figure out what you really need
There are TONS of deals out there but I don’t go out and buy things I don’t need or won’t use.
Have I bought more items than I can use in 1 month? Yep! Do I have a whole closet full of Kleenex? Yep! Does Super Nerd have enough soap to last him a few years… as long as he doesn’t get too dirty… *smiles*
Bottom line is buy only what you will use and not in such excess that it counts as hoarding. When it gets to that point we’ve donated toiletries and pantry food.
4. Have fun with it
Saving money is fun, even starting out small. It really IS like a game where you can win, but don’t let it consume your life week in and week out.
When you get done shopping where you’ve only bought what was needed and you’ve saved a large percentage… you deserve that big smile on your face.
Do me a favor… tell someone about it.
Show them your huge receipt with all those coupons on it or the store sales you
rocked. If you don’t have someone to brag to then come back here and shoot me
an email. I’ll jump up and down with you and do a little dance too!
My little dances are very entertaining… hubbie, sister, dad, store manager, greeter
dude… they’ve all witnessed my silliness.
If it’s not fun then don’t do it!
Sure it can change your life if you can save money but don’t let it suck the life out
of you in the process. If you need help then ask! You can start with me to bounce
ideas off of… I’m here for you and I’ll do my best not to let you down. By the
way my little dances get bigger when I get to help awesome people like you.

~ Nerd (Laura) ~

Grace Centers of Hope – Boogie Bowl

So I would like to invite anyone in the Detroit Metro area to consider the Grace Centers of Hope Boogie Bowl on Friday March 11, 2011 at Thunderbird Lanes in Troy.

The Boogie Bowl is a 70′s Themed night of bowling to Strike out Homelessness.  $30 for each bowler with $15 going directly to the charity and the other half covers 3 games of bowling, pizza and soda.  Sign up here

Nerd and I have chosen to sponsor this event as a part of our Giving budget and we are definitely excited about helping a great cause.  We also need to create our 70′s outfits…Any suggestions???