Friday, February 27, 2009

Money Issues

I like to think we live a pretty simple life. We try not to get caught in the whole race to keep up with the "Jones's" of the world, we pay our bills on time, and we seriously put a lot of thought and research into purchasing any big items. But when it comes to budgeting, investing, and retirement stuff, we'll be the first to admit we are very unknowledgeable and naive. So, we decided to set a goal for 2009 to get our "financial house" in order. Plain and simple, we are going to learn as much as we can and try to be smart about money issues.

No sooner had we decided this, and a friend of mine introduced me to Dave Ramsey. If you've never heard of this guy before, he's a financial expert that's honest (sometimes brutally) and has remarkable ideas to help anyone in any financial situation. Whenever I hear of a good thing or a "golden" find, I just have to pass it along. I love when people share what works for them. So, his website is Check it out if you get a minute, you won't be disappointed. He explains things in such simple and easy to understand lingo that even the most ignorant and financially challenged people (like us!) can understand. He also has a television show and a radio talk show. I've been listening to the radio show this past two weeks and have gathered so many nuggets of financial wisdom.

With the economy in such turmoil, people freaking out, and businesses folding, I'm not curling up into a ball or dreading what tomorrow might bring. Instead I'm taking ownership and gaining more knowledge. I now understand certain principles, how I can change little things in our daily lives to add up, and that investing is still critical for so many reasons. It really does reduce your stress and provide you with a sense of hope and freedom.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dinner Time

I don't spend much time having fun on the computer as most of the time my use is strictly business (handbag business!), but just recently I happened across a fantastic blog. It's a blog filled with yummy, scrumptious recipes called "Dinners for a Year and Beyond". You've got to check it out if you're like me and get tired of making the same old, same old and are looking for something new to make for dinner. I tried the Divine Chicken Divan on Sunday, and my family loved it. I altered the recipe a little bit and used turkey instead of chicken and frozen mixed veggies in place of the broccoli. It was so flavorful and moist. Definitely a recipe that I've put in my collection as a "keeper".

Hope you find a meal that suits your taste!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Fabrics

I'm probably looking forward to Spring just as much as the next person, but I've recently started looking for new fabrics for my Spring collection and it's made my fever even worse. I could spend countless hours perusing fabrics and textiles, it's definitely the funnest part of my job. So I've picked up these two already and several more (that are surprises!).

Modern, fresh and vibrant.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Week

Well, another week has breezed right by. Sometimes I wonder how time could seem to go so slowly but then in reflection, it feels like it went by so quickly. My week was filled with a nasty cold that just seemed to drag on, five full days of it. Thank goodness I was the only one that caught it, at least so far (oh no, did I just jinx my family!). I also find it amazing how life must go on when you, the "Mom", aren't feeling well. When do I get to call in and use a "sick day"?

Anyway, I was pretty much back to my normal self on Saturday and just in time for our wonderful weather. We actually hit 50 degrees here in the "windy city" which is VERY unusual for us in mid-February. The kids rode their bikes in the driveway, and I actually got to go for a 2-mile walk. But see, I know Chicagoland weather and I've come to expect it's unpredicatability. I had to keep reminding myself that it was only a tease. How sad is that? But now I'm reminded how fantastic it's going to be when that warm weather does come to stay, and the grass gets a little more greener, the buds on the trees get a little bit bigger, and the sun stays out just a little longer. I'm counting the days. I think my daughter Camille is too. When getting ready for bed tonight, she said "Look Mommy, I'm wearing short-sleeves. I want to get a little fresh air tonight."