Year of Reading

Dear Reader,

I am very much like Bella from Beauty and the Beast,  I would love to walk around town with a book in my hand.  I have been reading since I was a young  girl.  I remember the first series of books I read was Fear Street by R.L Stine.    I find reading is one of my biggest passions.

For the past five years I have been recording the books I have read on Goodreads every year.  I have been recording the books I read longer than that.  I thought it would be nice to record all the books I read on my blog.  That way if any books interest you, or you are on a search of A book you can see if any of the books I read peaks your attention.  I will give the books a star rating from 1 to 5.

1.  Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia     Rating 3

2.  Walking Up in Paris Overcoming Darkness in the City of Light by Sonia Choquette     Rating 3

3.  Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis     Rating 1.5

4.  Adventures in Opting Out by Cait Flanders     Rating 4

5.  A Nice Cup of Tea by Celia Imrie     Rating 4

5.  The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper     Rating 3.5

6.  What If…. by Samantha Berger     Rating 4

7.  Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryan     Rating 4

8.  Messages from Angels for Comfort and Reassurance By Unknown     Rating 4

The Year of Gratitude

 

Dear Reader:

I have been wanting to do a spending fast for so long.  I start with a strong will and determination, until the doubt comes in.  Then I write the idea off.  I was watching a video of a woman who called it the Year of Gratitude.  I like this idea a whole lot more, because the idea of not spending  on the basic needs is still there.  The difference is that you appreciate all that you already have.  I can do that.

      I have started this idea already, buy giving thanks for all that I have.   I  started to say thank you from a feeling of being lost in my soul, and who I was as a person.  I have had many changes happen in my life through out the year  late 2017, through all of 2018.  The uneasiness happen when I met this man, who lived in my building.  We started to hang out, went out a couple of times to a movie, but mostly just chilled out at each others place.  We had an attraction towards one another.  The problem this relationship/lack of many times, opened Pandora’s box for me.  So many issues came flooding out of my soul and took over my emotions.  I started to have high anxiety, wasn’t sure what to do with myself.  I was shaken to my core, and needed to get out of this pain.  Reiki was my saving grace along with meditation.  Headspace (www.headspce.com) has been such a great inspiration for my heart and soul.  Manali who owns Zen For You (www.zenforyou.ca) in Ottawa, has been a great mentor.  She opened me up and helped me get through the frustration and pain through Reiki.  I did overcome so many of my obstacles.    I also have to give credit to my friends Kat, Jen and Stephanie, they both picked my up when I was down.  Jen knows the whole story, from beginning until now.

       I felt lost in my own home,  it didn’t feel like home for a while.  I rearranged my flat so many time and for a time that helped.  In over a year I have changed my living room three times and bedroom twice.  I am so happy to say that know I am very grateful for my home and everything in it.  I want to stop thinking about what I don’t have in life, and be grateful for all the wonder people and thing in my life.  I am truly blessed. 

     So this is the starting of the Year of Being Gratitude and cutting out stuff in my life.  Along the way I want to keep on bring down my debt.  Celebrate all the small wonderful obstacles that I create along the way. 

I hope that you will join me on my journey, which will start February 2019. 

Much Love,

Jacqueline  

Happiness

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Dear Reader,

     The weather is quiet grim outside with the snow falling down in fat flakes.  It is April, and my city still is covered in snow.  The sky is covered in grey gloominess.  This is not my idea of a great night.  On a good note it is 7:00 pm, and the sky is still light out.  That makes me happy, because it means that the weather will become warmer soon.  

     I haven’t been writing in my gratitude journal for a while now.  I have to change that, and I thought that I would write my first gratitude post of April should be here.  Last week I had such a great time with my friend Stephanie.  She came over with half a gluten free apple pie.  We spend the day chatting and catching up on what is going on in each other’s life.  I am blessed to have Stephanie in my life.  

     Another great moment for me was at a school assembly (I am an Educational Assistant I work with students who have special needs).  I was sitting beside my student at the Faith Assembly.  The superintendent of the OCSB was at our school giving service pins out the staff that has been there for 15 years.  When my name was called my student had a big smile on my face.  I walked up to receive my pin and a hand shake from the superintendent.  I thank him, and walked back to my seat.  As I am walking back to my spot I noticed my student was kneeling up high, and giving my the biggest smile that touched my soul.  He was so proud of me.  When I sat down he gave me a kiss on my sleeve and a hug.  I can’t express how happy this made me. 

     There are many daily events that make me happy and very grateful for all that I have. The stories I shared are two of many.  Everyday is a gift to be thankful for. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Yours truly,

Jacqueline 

  

 

 

 

Wherever The Night Will Lead?

 

 

Dear Reader,

I recently asked a friend “what are you doing tonight?”  Her reply was “I am going to see where the night will take me.”  I can’t wait to have a night like that, but right now I can’t.  I know for a fact that this friend is getting by, and to have a night wherever it may lead then sounds great.  The reality is this night will lead to her spending more money that she doesn’t have right now.  It most likely will lead to her to eating out with other friends, going to a house party, going to a bar afterwards, at to eat again at the end of the night.  This does sound like a fun night (maybe without a hangover).  She will go home and sleep most of the day, just to repeat the night once again.  

     I on the other hand can’t afford to have a weekend like that.  I don’t have the money to burn like that.  I must be realistic with myself.  I have to be careful of where my money goes.  My night will be a lot quieter.  I will most likely catch up on some TV shows, read my current book (The Mission Song by John Le Carre) and maybe a friend will pop by.  We tend to get together, and watch a movie or talk up a storm.  

I need to focus on trying not to spend much money, until my bills are paid off. I will have nights where I spend nothing or very little for now.  I will have to be more creative on how to spend my time. It will be easier when the warmer weather comes around.  I am also starting to feel more comfortable at home which is good. My life will be quiet for now, but it won’t last for long if I stay focus on what is important to me. I do have some dreams and goals to keep me on track.

Here’s to everyone who is trying to stay mindful of their money, and where it goes.  

Have a great weekend.

Yours Truly,

Jacqueline

Sticking to a Budget

 

Dear Readers,

I thought that I could handle a no spending month, but I must refocus on what is important. I am going to put the no spending challenge on hold, and focus instead on my budget.  I haven’t been able to stick to the budget that I have created.  I would love to have a month where I can stick to it.  This will be the plan for April, and I will do a happy dance when I can do it.  

Here is my fixed amount of items that I can’t change $2199.68.  That gives me very little to spend this month.  I can make it through the month and live within my means.  This will mean that I will have to find cheap ways to keep myself entertained. I have to have faith in myself that I can go this.   I will do regular check ins and let you know how I am doing.  

Thank you for joining me and reading my stories. 

Yours Truly,

Jacqueline

Check In One: Limited Spending Month

Hello Readers;

Summer 2021, I can see myself walking down the streets of Whistler, BC enjoying a vacation.  I long to see my sister, but can only see her when I am debt free. That is the deal with have with each other. I want to also face a fear of heights and go up a gondola ride up the mountain.  Visualizing being Whistler and Vancouver will keep me on track of my real goals.  Until then I will have to stay focused on what is important spending less and enjoying what I have right now.  

     Thank you for joining me on this journey to be debt-free.  It won’t be easy, and will take me a couple of years to be completely debt free.  Having a Limited Spending Month will determine if I can keep it going when the 31 days end. I do want to continue on the Limited Spending longer than this month.  It will be nice to keep this until I am debt free.  The plan is to buy items I truly need, and right now that isn’t much.  I have been on a decluttering kick lately.  It is interesting to see how much I have been getting rid of.  I hope that other people can benefit from my items.  Why keep stuff that I don’t use around the apartment.  It is freeing for the mind to release items that I no longer need or use.  

Today  I did so some spending on groceries and some other items.  My Starbucks card has $10.00 added.  I do like to sit down and have a nice cup of tea, while reading a book or writing in my journal.  I did have to buy some eye makeup remover.  Other than that I just bought groceries to last me for a little while.  I do want to eat what is in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.  It will be nice to see how creative I can be with my meals. I now have $149.00 to last me for the next two weeks.  This should cover any extra groceries and a couple of things that I want to do.  I do have plans for lunch with a friend.  I have no idea where we are going, but I won’t spend too much.   I do need to have some fun. 

I am so happy to see the sun and warmer weather.  It is still winter coat season, but at least in Ottawa, Canada is seeing temperatures above zero degrees Celsius is great.  Going on a nice long walk after work allows me to stay away from malls and see my neighbourhood.    It also allows me to clear my mind of any stress that is going on around me.  I do plan to go on many more walks to get some exercise in during the week.  I will continue these walks on the weekends. It is a great way to people watch, while getting out of the apartment. 

I feel like my mind has been all over the map with this post, but I still want to share my thoughts with you.  I hope that everyone is going well.  I will write more very soon as I continue this journey.  Until then have a great night/day. 

Yours truly,

Jacqueline

 

 

Tomorrow: No Spending Starts

 

Dear Readers;

Tomorrow is the big day where I won’t spend money on anything, but the essential items.  I am feeling a hopeful and unsure of what this month will be like. 

At least it will make me find things to do in my spare time.  I have a feeling that there will be a lot more walks in this month.  I walk to burn out any uncertainty or stress I feel.  Walking is so good to release any stress. I also have a yoga pass with 20 sessions left on it.  I will put this to use this month.  I also want to use the exercise room more.  I have been eating a little more junk for lately out of boredom, and the good things about the spend fast is that I am not allowed to buy junk food. 

The plan is also to try and spend less time on the computer, because I am like many who spend too much time on Youtube, Facebook or Pinterest.  I want to spend more time on the wonderful chair I have while  reading and listening to peaceful music.  I want to find more time just to find peace within.  

 The weekends will be the hardest for me, because I have more time on my hands.  I hope that spring comes early this time.  It will be nice not to see the snow on the ground.  I am however happy to see the sunlight.  I hope it sticks around, because my mood is so happy when it is around.  I also look forward to warmer weather, where I can clean up my balcony.  I look forward to using my balcony more this year.  

I find I can sabotage my goals, due to fear, failure and not having faith that I reach my goals.  This time around the only choice I have is to believe that I can do it.  Just like the little train going up that steep hill…I think I can, I think I can!  I will not give up on myself, If I make a mistake during this time I will just readjust and keep on going.

Take Care, 

Jacqueline

Gearing up for a Spending Free Month

 

Dear Readers,

I am gearing up for my No Spending Month, and am looking forward to the challenge that awaits me.  The idea is spending money only on bills, loans, rent and basic groceries.  As I said in previous post I want to see two movies and going out for dinner at Ikea for book club meeting in April.  The plan is also to eat through what I have at home.  I will only buy the basic needs for groceries and personal care. I will be creative with how I will spend time with friends. 

I have been decluttering my home and Canadian Diabetes will be picking up my items on April 2.  It feels freeing giving away items that I no longer use.  I could be trying to sell them to make more money, but I find that a hassle.  This way I can put my items to use for good. 

     There are so many books on the bookshelf at home, and I plan to sit down in my comfy chair with a nice cup of tea and read up a storm.  I haven’t done it nearly as much as I want to.  I will also use the library a lot more this month.  It is fun to get out of the house, and not spend a dime.  Walking around the library and seeing what it has to offer is great.  I will try to spend time in different libraries around the city.

I am fed up with being in debt and would love to break free from the chains that are holding me down.  I can’t wait for the day to be free of this chain.  I have been on this path for too long, and it will take me while to be free.  I have a tight couple of years a head of me.  During this time I will share what works for me, where I went wrong and how I improve on this journey. 

How many of you are on a journey of your own? I would love to hear your stories. 

Have a great day/night. 

Yours Truly,

Jacqueline

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spending Fast Check In 2

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Dear Readers, 

The idea of a Spending Fast is so not so new to me. That the hard part is trying to find the way to make the Spending Fast work for me.  I do have a budget and can be easy to follow if I learn to be stand by it.  My sister is willing to join me on the next Spending Fast.  Our Spending Fast will start March 18 to April 18, and it will be great to have a person that I am accountable.  Bree is very good with money and will be a great partner along this path. 

     Here are my rules for the Spending Fast:

  •   I must use up the food and tea in my cupboards, freezer and fridge.
  • Groceries:  I am allowed to buy the following (when used up):  coffee, black tea, meat, fish, beans, milk, yogurt, eggs, fruits, veggies, spices, sauces and dips.
  • Not allowed to buy:  chocolate, chips, cookies, popcorn, juice and pop.
  • I can see two movies;  Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim
  • Personal Care:  Female products, wipes and body wash (after the rest is used up)
  • Not allowed to buy soap or hand soap.  I have plenty of these items at home.
  • Medication
  • Hair: only to receive a cut.  (I will wash it beforehand)
  • Not allowed the following:  Dollar Store,  Clothing, books, other entertainment, fast food.
  • I will be allowed to eat out twice Book Club Meeting at Ikea with a meal, and to thank my parents for giving me an item.
  • My Fathers birthday is in April so I will be doing something to celebrate. 

I will write more check ins on my progress of the first month of my spending fast.  I hope to have learned some skills along the way.  I do want to make the spending fast last longer than a month and will continue it until it becomes second nature.  

I hope everyone has a great day and have fun on your own journey.

Yours Truly,

Jacqueline

 

 

Confusion and a New Path

Dear Reader,

Last summer I met a guy at the outdoor pool in the apartment building where I live. Time pass and we saw each other throughout the summer. We really started to hang out in September and it was great.  I had butterflies and all the fun feelings I feel when there is someone I am attracted too. I haven’t felt this feeling in such a long time, and I forgot what it was like.  He is my usual type of guy, but not always the right type for me.  He lives in the same building as me.  This is great when you getting to know someone.  We would hang out at my place and see some movies.  We didn’t have a tittle to what we were to each other.  

  The guy would be all over the map with how he felt. He would say sweet things, be caring and considerate, but then turn cold. With him being all over the map with how he felt, he would throw me for a loop. I wasn’t the person who I want to be, but I didn’t know how to let go.  I knew the signs, but didn’t always  want to see them, because I my heart was in deep.  To say I was in an emotional roller coaster ride is and understatement.  There were times when I was on top of the clouds and other times when I was in tears.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I know I held on for too long and lost who I am.  I have to thank my friends who gave me a lot of support, advice (sometimes too blind to see it), shoulders to cry on, some laughter, and always willing to give me a hug. One friend told me to breathe, such simple advice.

I had a heaviness on my chest that I couldn’t get rid of, but I am over that now.  There is always a lesson to be learned from our mistakes. I am able to see some of mine this time around.  Which are the following:

     True friends will find the time to listen to your stories with an open mind.  They might not agree with what you are going through.  They are willing to guide you, give you advice and be the strongest support when you are down.  What I did this time around was thank my friends for being there for me.  I know that many of my friend are going through many situations in their own lives.  I made an effort to ask them about their lives as well.  I sent kind messages to friends via Facebook Messenger and written notes as well.  Just to let them know that I treasure them.

I lost my worth for a while, but with each day I am getting it back.  When I was younger and into my teens I was bullied.  I never felt that I fit in, and due to that I try to please the wrong people.  I have been looking for approval from guys, because I never felt good enough.  I don’t need approval from anyone.  I am good enough, strong, passionate, emotional, loving and willing to help others who are in need.   I have been able to live on my own for some time now, and that should be enough.   I am surrounded my people who truly love me.  No guy can give me love or happiness, until I can completely give it to myself.  I don’t need approval from anyone, because I am living a good life.

     Lust can be very blinding, because I have a deep attraction for a guy.  I am on top of the world, have butterflies for this guy, we are having a good time.  Lust doesn’t have staying power, there isn’t a deep enough of a bond when it comes to this feeling.  The guys that I lust for are not people I can see as a friend down the road.  Lust can throw be off-balance, then the doubt comes in.  Never a good sign. I tend to hold on longer than I should, due to the what ifs. There have been guys who have cheated on me, not committed or say all the things I like to hear to keep me around.  I need to listen to my intuition next time.   It never lies.  I need to speak up.

I am moving in the right path right now.  Each day I must count my blessing and be forgiving towards myself.  No more negative voices.  I must embrace the woman I am, because I have been through a lot and keep on bouncing back.

Until next time have a wonderful day.

Yours Truly, 

Jacqueline