Just a quick update on my stewardships.
Finances - to organize my wallet Dave Ramsey style I've previously used the cash envelopes but they rip so easily so I wanted to come up with a more sturdy version. A girl in my class sewed cloth envelopes with zippers but then I couldn't see inside them where I'd like to still keep a tally sheet, so I thought of the clear envelopes with zipper seals I often get in cosmetic bags, found them online for $1.75 each! Then I went to Value Village, found a wallet I can repurpose to fit these plastic envelopes into. I hope to finish this weekend!
Home - small groups haven't started yet so I haven't stricly followed my cleaning plan because a couple of other projects have topped my priority list and they are covering my dining room table :) But my living room has just seemed to stay tidy for a change, which is nice.
My meal planning is finally done (the majority of it anyway, I've written a whole seperate post on that, coming soon). And I even have a meal planning board I made (with inspiration from Pinterest of course). I bought the frame at Value Village as well, took out the old painting, painted/antiqued the frame to my liking, then added some of my fav pieces of scrapbooking paper behind so I have 5 blocks for the 5 days of the week I plan for.
I also talk about my food from scratch in my meal plan post, other than that I haven't added anything new to my repetoire yet.
Body - I have actually really been slacking on the exercise, especially the 6 am strength training sessions, I really need to be more disciplined about going to bed at a reasonable time instead of getting carried away with all my fun projects! I haven't been on the treadmill for over a week either. Where are my discipline inspirational quotes when I need them!
I am however doing fairly well on my eating plan, sticking about 98% to the foods I should/should not eat, and I'm STILL not counting calories!! I feel like I'm doing so well in fact I felt confident enough in my weight maintaining to purchase a second pair of pants at my new lower size and I now am that size from 2 different stores! Lol. Don't you hate it when one store says you are one size, and another says you are a different size? I love the validation I actually have shrunk a size :)
I'm also doing well on cutting out caffeine, I've only had a partial cup because I wanted a hot drink and tea wasn't sweet enough but hot chocolate was too sweet, so I had a cafe mocha. Not bad, less than a cup in 42 days!
Earth - I was able to buy that grass fed beef from a local farm and I really liked it! After pricing out the difference I think it was well worth the slight cost difference and I'm going to keep purchasing from there. That means I should have a mostly local meal at least once per month because I'm sure to use local potatoes and carrots with at least one of my beef recipes that often.
I've found more ways to conserve water, like the water I use to rinse the coffee carafe I let soak all day (coffee is a really tough stain to remove if I don't), and then I use that water to rinse Sean's coffee thermos at the end of the day, and also rinse out the re-usable coffee filter. I'm trying to think of reuses like this for water and change my thinking about how 'disposable' water is. My only beef is with our water tap it takes too long for water to get from hot to cold or cold to hot...wastes a lot of water that way. I try to use some of that for soaking dirty dishes but even after they are filled the water still isn't at the right temp sometimes. :(
Talents/Purpose - I've been doing my best to blog the moments I want to remember, but funny enough, a lot of the moments I want to remember are just a lot of warm fuzzies between hubby and I lately, or a great chat with a great friend, most of which are too personal to share here. I guess I should remember to write those ones in the journals : / Or, I have posts about things that are not done yet, like a pile of gifts for a friend about to have a baby...but can't share it until she has that baby! I do however have a few larger posts I'd been working on for some time finally scheduled so I can start concentrating on the little daily entries....or I'll try!
I am super pumped and busy with a new creative outlet though! I joined a Facebook challenge from a friend for a 'Hand-made Pay-It-Forward', where the first 5 people to comment on the offer would receive something handmade by in 2012, and so I commented to receive something from her and then paid it forward and offered the challenge on FB as well. I threw a bunch of ideas around but then I stumbled on an idea on Pinterest (gotta love that Pinterest!) and at first thought it was a perfect addition to the stack of gifts for my friend who's having the baby, but then I realized the potential I could create out of this idea. I bought all the supplies and started on my first one and oh do I love it! Not only the finished product but I loved the process, wondering at each step of the creative choices, if it will look the way I hope, and just watching it develope into something beautiful at my hand. I have SO missed the feeling of creating like that! I'll defintely have a whole post of all the items I give and receive...because I 'signed up' for other friends who then paid it forward as well. I can't wait!
Communities - So our January date was Sean's turn and we ended up having a 'shoulder-shoulder' date and we didn't get a 'face to face' time, however we did have a long car ride and talk which I actually like just as much as the 'face to face', so I'll chalk January up to be a success with the his and hers connections.
Have definitely been keeping up with the couple-friend community, had an evening with one of our good couple friends and have a date for another evening of fun with a different couple friend for the end of Feb. Need to squeeze in some time with my girlfriends though....don't be surprised if one of you gets a call :)
And we invited 2 couples over from Church for a potluck dinner but it probably won't work until March.
Also just had a conversation with our ministry director about the women I will be starting a small group with for recovery, hopefully that will be starting in 2-3 weeks as well! Yay! Sean still hasn't decided if he wants to start leading a small group or if he'll be joining another one already in progress.
Growth - my media fast on Tuesdays has been mostly successful, although it's hard to get Sean to turn off the t.v. for a few shows he enjoys so sometimes, even if I'm off in the dining room I can get a little sucked in. BUT, at least I have been off the couch every Tuesday, I have spent it finishing the meal plans, reading, creating, organizing. It's amazing how one evening a week on that stuff can make me feel so much more productive than I used to feel :) I really do find myself also growing, I feel like I want to sit on the couch less in general, I don't like vegging in front of my computer for as many hours as I used to, and t.v. is slowly losing it's appeal....I've stopped Grey's Anatomy watching, and when other shows are not on I have been better at not just replacing them with something new.
I've now got 2 books on the go, both non-fiction - The Case for the Real Jesus, and Poetic Medicine. Both really good....but unfortunately my creative and meal planning endevors have cut my reading hours short. I think this upcoming Tuesday I will at least pick up one! Same with my Bible, now that I have a Bible I need to 'chew', it's hard to just read a chapter, it took me half an hour to get through one chapter!
My prayer time has been intentional but interesting, because I have the new listening prayer techniques I feel like I'm just getting started and then my 'time is up'. I need to practice shutting off my mind faster - maybe use some meditation tips I heard about. But I'm adapting, trying to find ways to keep it a part of every day.
Living my Life - I've mostly been spending time trying to pay attention to what I feel I need in the moment, if I need a time just to let my body rest I finally let myself veg, list be damned, or if I've been vegging too much I get off my butt and look at my list until something appeals to me. If I've been needing social time I take some time to visit with people, even if it's through emails, or squeezing in some extra time before or after Church.
I did pamper myself, getting a manicure early in January, a french gel mani, which I loved how it looked but I just don't have the kind of time for maintenance it requires. Wish I did, I really liked them.
In addition to that, I'm feeling like I'm becoming more high maintenance these days, as my hair has been harder to upkeep than I thought it would be after cutting out the salon cost from my budget. The box bleaching I've got down but the hair cuts are hard! I really only need a short trim and I'm going to have to pay $30ish for it! I refuse to do the Magic-Cuts thing, and even that is $18. Is it just me or is that much money for cutting an inch of hair ridiculous! I'd go to a hair school but they are only open when I work.
I'm also going to pamper myself with a short road trip. It's really short, like only 30 min. outside the city, but it's my turn to plan the anniversary date and I really wanted us to 'get away' from it all, be far removed from everything 'usual' and be holed up together for a full 24 hours. I found a nice little place I can't wait to try out, they have a great deal if you don't stay a Friday or Saturday so we're taking the Monday after off and going Sun-Mon., for only $59/night! We really like being on the road together so even the trip there and back will be nice.