New Journey; New Blog Efforts

I have some big news! After two years of exploring a foreign land, meeting the locals, and discovering my passions (yes, this worked out kind of like a book), I will be ending my stay in Georgia and returning to New Jersey! I’m coming back loaded with experience and drive. Unfortunately, it took being 800+ miles from home to gain this experience. I’m a woman who needs to learn the hard way. Throwing myself into bachelorette life seemed to be the only way to figure out how to be independent and sort out what makes me happy: reading, writing, cosplay, gaming, primal eating, libertarianism, and being near my friends and family in NJ. Please make note that I didn’t say what makes me financially secure. That’s a whole different can of worms. Also note that I am happy in Georgia. I’m just homesick. My co-workers and new friends are making the decision to leave particularly difficult. Stupid co-workers and friends being all fun and nice and junk. Pfft!

With this move in mind, I need to make the most of my time left. I have sunk myself into cosplay thanks to a friend of mine down here (one of those co-workers making this all hard and whatnot!), and I’ve read a handful of new books to inspire my writing. I’ve decided I’d like to be a libertarian YA fiction author. I mean, freedom IS magical so why not play off of that? My hobbies are pretty introverted and that suits me just fine. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t go out with people, but that has its own snag. Because I’ll be leaving one job and not necessary settling swiftly into another, I also need to save money this last month of Georgia adventuring.

Here is my May money saving strategy.
1. Absolutely NO ordering out. Any food I eat is what I buy specifically from the grocery budget or is given to me (gift, free table at work, etc.) Also, this food will at least be gluten free. I’m demanding that of myself to gear up for getting back on primal track.
2. Only necessary electricity is used. If I’m not in that room, the lights are out and electronics are unplugged. If I’m not paying attention to the TV, it’s off. Microwave is ALWAYS unplugged except when in use. If the sun is out, the lights are off.
3. No extraneous travel. If it’s not pre-planned, I can’t spend the gas money on it. Prices are leaping back up just in time for me to need them low! It doesn’t help that my renter’s insurance folks just snatched a big chunk of change from me that was unexpected.
4. If I spend it, or must spend it (bills), write it down! Don’t lose track of what you’ve spent. Especially if you’re a cosplayer, the money can and will get away from you.
5. STICK. TO. YOUR. BUDGET.

With this strategy in place, I’ll hopefully have money for the home stretch to MomoCon and not be in the red while apartment hunting! So much to do, only 29 days in which to do it! It’s my first convention without the family to steer me, and it’s my first time cosplaying in an expected cosplay zone. Personally, between MomoCon and then Edge of the Empire game night as my last night in Georgia, I think I’m going out with a bang!

Thank you for all you’ve let me do, Georgia! See you June 3, New Jersey!

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On Today’s Menu: Saturday, February 8, 2014

Having extra time in the morning means a great many things. I can cook or clean. I could whip out my new DS game that I’m crazy over. I can budget (that’s what I did). I can ponder over how my current income could make visiting loved ones or loved ones visiting a bit tricky. However, it also somehow means a good day lies ahead.

Highlights: We started making the mural for the ticket office wall! I made a really pretty sun and rose and some last minute grass. I’m a crafting beast! And my lunch was so satisfying that I didn’t eat my larabar I packed for a snack. I got to hang out with my friend today and accomplish shopping and Torchwood! Wooo! $35.01 filled my gas tank today! Also, traffic getting onto 85N after work was a breeze because I passed most of the time watching the top 13 proposal videos on the internet. Yeah, that’s right. I sat in traffic and watched youtube videos. Guess I’m a lawbreaker. Gonna put me in jail where I’m given 3 square meals a day and maybe I’ll go back to school on your dime?

Struggles: Fun, but slooooooow day at work. Which meant boredom eating hunger pangs. But I beat them. Social situation dictated my friend and I go out for cheap Burger King dinner. No buns. I thought I was on the verge of heartburn immediately, but now I suspect my body was just crunched up on the bed while we watched Torchwood so I just had digestion issues. It went away after standing for a few minutes and sitting straighter in my car. But you see, this is indeed a special occasion because I was out with my friend. Still. I think next time I’ll just have to break social code and just not eat out. Lesson learned.

But my food will last a day longer!

MENU

  • BRUNCH: Spring mix and kale salad with avocado (and the not so good balsamic dressing)
  • LUNCH: Chicken tenders, veggie medley with liquid aminos to season (and the not so good ketchup)
  • DINNER: Bunless whopper jr.’s, two small fries

On Today’s Menu: Friday February 7, 2014

When you get 3 extra hours of work AND get to Skype date with the boyfriend AND watch ants slowly wither away into the embrace of death, you know it’s a good day.

Highlights: Not only did I have lunch and a snack for today, but because I was indecisive, I also have lunch for tomorrow already packaged! Good day at work today. I got to watch Weather Rocks! It’s cute, but it’s a LOT of information to process for young ones and it’s not always clear when it’s sung on top of loud rock music. And extra hours! I treated myself today because I was Skyping the boyfriend. I had a thought to dip animal crackers in melted chocolate. Yum! Although the flavors didn’t blend like I thought they would. And then I had frozen dessert not ice cream coconut milk ice cream. Yup. That’s how I’m going to title it. I also had inspiration to plot out a future story while commuting today. It’s giving me trouble, but I figure it’s worth the frustration since it’s a topic I’m passionate about for an audience I love working with. Also, MAGICAL STARSIGN!! It’s so cute and as I get further into the game play, I’m getting way into this game! It’s a super simplistic plot, but it has very interesting battle features. The fact that it’s night or day can make or break a fight! And of course I love magic! 😀

Struggles: I wonder if my treat tonight will throw me off track. I wholeheartedly accept my little splurge knowing how much worse it could’ve been. And I saved it for a special occasion. The thought is the struggle. I also struggle with these coupons for fast food. I don’t want to get rid of them juuuuust in case. I also wish I was confident enough in my income that I could tear them up right now and use the money I might’ve spent on those things on more groceries. I made it through the first week of February so let’s see where this monthly grocery run gets me. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

MENU

  • SNACK: Larabar
  • LUNCH: Tomato soup
  • DINNER: Salmon with a side salad (and not the best balsamic dressing)
  • SNACK: Animal crackers in melted chocolate, Coconut milk ice cream with almond and chocolate

On Today’s Menu: Monday February 3, 2014

BOOOOOORING! Such a boring day. Exactly what I needed. 🙂 Luckily I have two of these boring days in a row so everything I didn’t feel like doing today I can happily do tomorrow. Well, I guess tomorrow I’ll see how happily I do them. I suddenly realized there’s more to my chores than I thought of today.

Highlights: I ate well today despite the boredom meter going off the charts. I took care of the tear stains on Shana’s fur. I also made a friggin gorgeous ham and cheese omelet that I forgot to photograph. My bad. Oh, and I did a load of dishes. Oh, and I did a lot of social media fun stuff today. Very productive. Oh! And HOCKEY! I love when I get to watch my Devils play. I hate that I call them MY Devils. Blame the boyfriend. It’s entirely his fault.

Struggles: Being bored really makes me want to eat. Eating is terribly entertaining. I think my amazing grass fed burgers were slightly too undercooked. I’ve had a bit of a stomach ache all day since eating the last two today. It’s actually sitting just above my stomach like it’s heartburn. I’ve learned that any sensation in my stomach is immediately registered as a hunger pain first and foremost. Like eating will solve any pain problem in my gut. #formerfatgirlproblems #weightisnottheonlyindicatorofhealth I ate lunch at a weird hour so it was technically dinner I suppose, but like a really early dinner. But by the time I was hungry again it was already after 9. What’s the point of eating that late other than tempting heartburn? I’m not using that energy for anything.

MENU

  • BRUNCH: Ham and cheese omelet
  • DINNER: 2 grass fed burgers on a bed of kale and spring mix
  • SNACK: Larabar

EDIT: I ended up having a small salad with less than ideal balsamic vinaigrette because my stomach was rather unhappy. 80/20 allows me to live.

On Today’s Menu: Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another great day! I got up at 9ish and prepped lunch, dinner, AND snacks for today so I wouldn’t snack on bad things while I was out of the house literally all day. And it was a smooth run the whole time! Happy happy happy girl!

Also, the boyfriend is super nifty. He’s just tops, ladies and gents. The bees knees. That is all. Let’s talk highs and lows from which we build!

Highlights: Prepping my food for the day when I go out is so empowering! I had zero inclination to get anything I shouldn’t. Maybe the hard cider was the least good thing, but like I said: my 20% will at least be gluten free. There were many laughs at work at Puppetry which always makes for a good day regardless. At Horizon, every single ticket was picked up and every ticket was easily accounted for. That’s NEVER happened to me before! And then another phenomenal  burlyQ show! There’s so much love with those ladies and gents! I’m so inspired! But it’ll have to wait til morning. . .and after cleaning dishes and maybe doing laundry and organizing around here. Still, it feels amazing to feel inspired to do awesome things!

Struggles: Not much today. The typical cravings for the leftover doughnuts and the concessions cookies, but it was so quiet today that I can barely call it a struggle. Happy day! I got a little crave-y tonight after three Angry Orchards, but. . .GLUTEN FREE! And only ONE piece of dark chocolate once I got home (and some pinches of cheese). None of the Hershey’s kisses that were given out during the show or the box of chocolates I got during the show.

MENU

  • BREAKFAST: Ham and cheese from inside the Hormel REV wrap from the free Friday coupon
  • LUNCH: Ham, kale, carrots, and cheese wraps
  • SNACK: GF animal crackers
  • DINNER: Hot dogs, sauteed onions and peppers, mashed sweet potatoes
  • SNACK: Lara ALT bar, one square Lindt’s 70% chocolate, pinches of shredded cheese

On Today’s Menu: Saturday February 1, 2014

Today is a wonderful day. Simply wonderful.

Highlights: I won the 5 hour battle against a big box of doughnuts in the ticketing office today! William is a such a sweetheart to bring us stuff though. I love my co-workers. And we had some friggin adorable patrons today. I’m not even talking about the little ones. These were two Asian girls straight out of an anime. KAWAII! My grocery shopping trip was right on target thanks to my coupons! I felt like one of the extreme couponers, although they would laugh in my face if they saw what I spent. Still, I saved almost $25! And the best thing of all?

2 coupons for these bad boys: 20140201_185652

Struggles: I think this one is pretty obvious. 5 hour battle against a big box of doughnuts. Also making myself cook when I got home from shopping was a bit of a trial. Not too severe actually, but I did have a few wandering thoughts to just quickly grab one little fast food burger. I overcame it as I remembered how much money I spent on shopping (quuuiiiiiiite a bit, but still under budget!) and how awesome burgers would be with my grass fed beef! The real struggle is yet to come. This is only the first day of February. How motivated will I feel in just maybe 12 days? There’s no room for fast food this month (thank god).

MENU

  • BREAKFAST: Tomato soup with hotdogs and sauteed onions and peppers
  • SNACK: Larabar
  • LUNCH: Salmon, sauteed onions and peppers
  • SNACK: GF animal cracker, a block of Lindt 70% dark chocolate (just taste testing)
  • DINNER: Grass-fed beef burgers with shredded cheese in them on a bed of spring mix greens and a side of mashed sweet potatoes
  • SNACK: So Delicious brand frozen dessert (another big highlight!)

20140201_211114

On Today’s Menu: Friday January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year, especially to my fellow Year of the Horse born brothers and sisters! Nothing like a couple of extra hours at work to make up for missing out on 8 hours of work. Because snow surprise in Atlanta. Oh? What’s that? Was I supposed to do the insidious small but slowly growing pile of dishes when I got home? Hmm. Hey look! Cats!

Highlights: I got two extra hours of work today! And I still didn’t buy anything from the vending machine! I feel really good just for that. Personal integrity and I are getting reacquainted. I also got to working on a grocery list for February. It involved lots of back and forth with my Kroger digital coupons and a couple of paper coupons. Yeah, that’s right. I’m getting into couponing. Also, my cats are too gorram cute! AND DEVILS HOCKEY!

Struggles: This whole fake hungry thing sure feels real. And Divinci’s Pizza is right across from the MARTA station. And someone was having pizza or something for lunch and all the lunch smells from the first floor hallway waft upstairs. And birthday cake! And burger king and Wendy’s coupons! I had a really scary moment today. I realized that if offered that stale slice of birthday cake from the fridge just last week, I might’ve taken it despite the state it was in. Yes. My body has a huge bounce back to go through. But day 2 of recovery was not unkind. . .other than I got home and prepared some dinner via leftovers in the fridge. . .they were left over too long. . .so I ate a huge orange instead that didn’t appear to have gone bad, but my appetite was mostly spoiled.

MENU

  • SNACK: Larabar
  • BRUNCH: Two hot dogs with sauteed onions and peppers
  • DINNER: Pumpkin chicken, veggie medley, mashed sweets (couldn’t finish because it tasted awful)
  • SNACK: Orange, Larabar (I felt like I needed to make up for not eating dinner.)