Month: January 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

The Bell on the Fishing Pole: Living in the Present

Want to know EVEN MORE about us? Today we had the pleasure of being interviewed by the great Mr. 1500 Days! Check out our interview.

One morning while we were in Hawaii during Christmas time, Mr. T and I left our sleeping kids in the care of my parents and took a walk out onto a rocky point to watch the sunrise. It was still pretty dark when we arrived, so we sat and watched the waves crash against the rocks. As we sat, we saw a group of fishermen getting ready to fish off the point. They spent about twenty minutes setting up their poles, baiting them, and casting out the lines. Then, they tied bells to the poles and walked away. I watched them leave the poles behind, get out some food, and start visiting with each other. I’m used to Alaskan fishing, which is very hands-on, so it surprised me when they walked away. And I kept staring at the bells.

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The Two Things Keeping You From Retirement

The biggest financial finish line in the majority of people’s lives is retirement. Researchers have poured years into studying how to get people to actually take the steps to prepare for retirement because not enough people are doing so. The definition of retirement is to leave one’s job and cease working. Quitting work is the easy part of retirement. The hard part is being financially prepared to no longer have paychecks coming. Everyone is looking for a magic bullet to retirement—the as-seen-on-TV pill for becoming rich. People want to win the lottery or inherit large amounts of unexpected money because otherwise, they just don’t know how they will ever have enough money to retire.

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Dutch Ovens, Hockey, & Earthquakes: Another Alaskan Weekend

Living in Alaska, I start taking things for granted. I stop realizing that things we do and experience are actually odd and interesting to people outside of Alaska. Our weekend was exactly that.

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Caught With Your Shirt Off? Own it!

At the beginning of the week, I had a dream where I was hanging out with a variety of random people from my life, both male and female. Quite a bit into the dream, I realized I wasn’t wearing a shirt. I was just standing there in my bra and jeans. This wasn’t the typical dream where you realize it right away and freak out. I had been having full conversations with these people for quite a while. We had done stuff. And THEN I realized I had no shirt. At this point, I was horrified, of course, but I couldn’t just hope no one noticed. OF COURSE they had noticed! How long can you hang out with a person and not realize they are missing something as basic as a shirt? The answer is half a millisecond. And I had been with these people for hours! I had no choice but to just own it. None of them had mentioned it. And no one had treated me any differently shirtless, so I just decided to just own the situation.

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How Much 2 Cars Costs Us

Mr. T and I went nearly 9 years of marriage with one car. When we had our third child and then we had two kids in two different schools, things got trickier. Mr. T bike commutes fairly often and we talked about him doing it full time, but there was a time trade-off. He gets home about an hour later when he bike commutes and is only home for 1.5-2 hours with the kids before bedtime. We weren’t quite sure what to do. At the same time we were facing this predicament (November 2014), my cousin told us she was moving and they would sell us their 2010 Subaru Forester below trade-in value, so we bought it. 2015 was our first full year with 2 cars, so how much did it all cost us?

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: To the Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr. provided my children and husband a lovely day off work and school. But much more importantly, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. introduced the possibility of change to this world. He has always been a hero of mine and I even get choked up writing about him. Dr. King had the courage to ask the hard questions when no one else would and face absolute horrors with true love and peace. I have read many of his sermons and highly recommend you check them out online or at the library as they are full of wisdom and insights on a range of topics. Reading them will want you to be a better person. I promise. But let’s talk about his most famous speech (please read the whole thing if you haven’t recently), and more specifically, one of the most famous quotations:

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The Power of a Good Cleanse

I got a bit trigger-happy this morning and published TWO posts, so be sure to also check out What I Learned at the Holiday Bazaar and we’ll hopefully back to our regular posting schedule on Monday! 🙂

Every January, after the holiday treat-eating, Mr. T and I go on a two-week food cleanse. Don’t worry, we’re not crazy. Let me explain what that means for us. We don’t juice. We don’t starve. Mainly, we focus on eating just fruits and vegetables. We condense Whole Living’s 28-day cleanses (there are several years available online, so we use all those resources for recipes) into just two weeks. We mainly do it to jumpstart our bodies. We eat so much wheat and so many carbs (cracked 7-grain oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich with homemade whole wheat bread for lunch, rice or pasta for dinner, etc.), so we take two weeks to give our body a break from processing the usual stuff. We cut out all meat, dairy, grains, eggs etc. After the first five days, we add back eggs and gluten-free grains. Also in January, we go on a spending cleanse. We pay for our cleanse produce and other food for the month and nothing more at the grocery store.

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What I Learned at the Holiday Bazaar

Mr. T and I made our first foray into attempting to sell his art by signing up for a holiday bazaar downtown Anchorage the Saturday before Christmas. We hated it. But it did get us creating, we sold a few cards and ornaments, and we learned a lot from the experience. Here are a few of the things we learned:

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non-financial goals

Our 2016 Non-Financial Goals

I’ve mentioned that I love New Year’s resolutions and I’ve shared our financial goals for 2016. I don’t like to make typical, vague goals or tie myself in to doing something I can’t achieve. With that in mind, here are my 2016 non-financial goals:

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The Fill-the-Bucket List

I turned 30 this past year and it wasn’t life-changing. Here’s why:

For the few years leading up to my 30th birthday, I watched several friends hit 30 first. A surprising amount of them wrote up a whole bucket list of things they wanted to accomplish before the big birthday. For most of them, the 29th year meant racing to finish a made-up list by an arbitrary deadline: the 30th birthday. I watched one friend successfully finish all 30 things on her list (which involved a lot of frantic racing the few weeks leading up to her birthday and a few all-nighters). Another friend even started a blog about the 30 things she planned to accomplish before she turned 30. I think she blogged twice that whole year. On her 30th birthday, she wrote about how she remembered how much she hated doing new things. When she turned 30, she felt bad about not hitting her goals for about ten minutes, and then she realized that was dumb. Being 30 meant she was free from the “decade of decision” and she could own who she was. Her goal after that was to have no adventures and fully enjoy what she actually likes to do.

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