Extreme Couponer Or Not…by Ms. Coco.

Extreme Couponer Or Not…by Ms. Coco.

I have not done well at all with this extreme couponing month. And I thought I would. Obviously those people take the time and effort to find coupons. I haven’t tried AT ALL! I feel so bad too because I am the one who suggested to do the extreme couponing to donate the items to our local Family Resource Centers in the schools. The programs help with what we call the “Backpack Program.” Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch also get items to take home on the weekend to ensure they are eat over the weekend. Sooo…the Gentleman Farmer clearly won this challenge. I will try to do better this week since he did so well. I must at least find enough coupons to match his savings. Hey, we both know our strong points in this relationship.

We will call tie on the random acts of kindness part of this challenge. The GF did teach a class for me on finances at the Adult Education Center. He thought it could have gone better but I thought he did a FANTASTIC job. I am the teacher by trade in this little family we are creating, yet he stepped up to the plate and made me look good with his professional ways. I will forever remember this…or at least until my memory fades.

Since I am sooooo late on this post and also on my couponing, we will look forward to the future. The Gentleman Farmer and I do not live together currently but we do spend at least 50% of our weeks together. For the month of May our challenge will be living together. HA! I have NEVER lived with a man except my father or grandfather. And I haven’t lived with anyone else since my twin sister, Natalie, and I lived together in college. And that was an experience; also that was over eight years ago! So we will see how this works out for us. We may do really well…the first week I am away at a conference. Did that occur on purpose? Hmmmm…I am slightly nervous. Who will cook breakfast? (He will.) Who will annoy whom first? (Probably I will annoy him.) Whose house will we stay at the most (his…I cannot have a dog at my house…even though I like spending time in my own bed.) But none of those are actually important. Will we make it through? Will we continue to create routines that will work for the both of us? Will we figure out the next step in our lives, separately and together? Will they align with our needs, wishes, hopes, and dreams? Those are certainly more important to me. I hope they are to him as well. If not, what are we here for? Obviously I am here for him. Forever, for always, for love.

Carolina on a Budget (kinda)

Carolina on a Budget (kinda)

We’ve been traveling this last week to Ms. Coco’s home state. I’ve been trying to keep my budget system going from last month while traveling, I’ve had mixed results.

Ms. Coco asked me to help her with a class on personal finances for adults. I’ve been thinking about what are the most important aspects of getting your finances in order. I’ve come up with three things.

1. Goals/Standards

So what are goals and standards? Goals help me define what I want. Standards for me are how I choose to live my life.

I didn’t think much about my standards until Ms. Coco’s uncle gave a very good speech recently at a ceremony where he was being honored. When asked why his track team has done so well winning titles for the last 20 years he said,

“Our kids succeed because we set high standards for them and hold them accountable” 

In the age of everyone gets a trophy and everything is special, where are the high standards? 

In the books I’ve read about success in business, sports, and life. The truely great set high standards for themselves and the people around them. This could be why like attracts like. People with high standards attract other with high standards. This helps bring up everyone’s performance. 

One of my favorite quotes is “A rising tide lifts all boats”. 

How does one be the rising tide? Could it be having higher standards for yourself and those you choose to spend your time with?

2. Systems

Are the steps you put in place to reach your goals. This saves time and makes decision making easier.

Last month I created an budget and system to help control my spending. It has been working pretty well but I’m sure it will need to adjust over time.

I’m trying to find a new system for fitness. I’ve been toying with some new apps and training systems but I need to find something that works wel for me.

Systems are great it gives you model to live by but you also need to know that it’s working for you.

3. Evaluation and Analysis 

Recently I’ve been taking a lot more notes. I’ve always enjoyed writing but my notes are to track different aspects of my life that I feel need improvement.

The data gives me information I can then look at over time to develop a picture of what works and what doesn’t. 

I’ve learned recently that increasing my weight training by more that 5lbs on any exercise can lead me to be sore or possible injured after my workout. So now I limit my increases in weight to no more than 5lbs on any workout. 

I wouldn’t have known this if I had not been tracking my workouts and the weight I’ve been lifting.

Monthly challenge. This month is all about acts of service and extreme couponing. I’m helping Ms. Coco with this personal finance class, I always try to open her door and carry her bags, and I cook us dinner every Sunday night. So I feel like I’ve got a decent handle on the acts of service. 

Extreme couponing is not going well. I have only one coupon that I’m planning on using at the moment. Hopefully I can pick it up in the second half of the month. If you have any tips please let me know in the comments! Where can I get some good deals?

Nothing Can Be Finer Than To Be In Carolina…by Ms. Coco

Nothing Can Be Finer Than To Be In Carolina…by Ms. Coco

For the month of April, the Gentleman Farmer and I are supposed to be focusing on good deeds and an extreme couponing month. The GF usually says I am a sucker for doing things for others, even if it isn’t in my best interest. However, if I do something for others I feel I am somehow helping the “angels” among us and I know favor comes back. It is not solely this purpose of receiving favor, but knowing I am able to help others is so important to me because so many people have poured into my life and have assisted me in the path that I have taken that I can only repay them by helping others. So I am so excited to do this coupon challenge and donate the food purchased through this activity to our respective Family Resource Centers in the communities in which we live and work.

The Gentleman Farmer always is doing something for me or others. We are in North Carolina this week for my uncle’s induction to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. He has won over 28 state championships and is pretty amazing, although I feel my family members are superstars anyway. Before driving to NC he called me several times to ask what he should get my uncle as a gift (I honestly didn’t even think to get him one), bought my other uncles things they would like, and bought several other gifts for family members. He does this every time we go, even though it might also be slight bribes to be seen as favorable (I love him, so they do too)! 🙂 SO I know he will do well with the random acts of kindness this month, as well as the extreme couponing. He is the saver between the two of us and I look to him as inspiration. Otherwise, he asks when I buy new clothing or where I got it from. He misses few things.

While in North Carolina we took a trip to my house in High Point because I am hoping to sell it. When we drove into the driveway he was like, “Oh, your house is cute” like he was surprised! I’m quite confused at this point because I never said it was ugly. I just said I need to sell it ASAP! Then he goes into his whole advice giving speil about what I need to do to sell it…I really want to get it off my hands. I am less interested in making a huge profit by this point…but you know how men can be. They must be heros. Haha. Wish me luck and a speedy process with this. I have learned much from being a homeowner for the past 8 years but it is time to move on to something else.

We’re also spending the week in Asheville for a conference I’m attending on Extension Volunteerism. I am excited that we will be here for a warm week and that we will be able to eat at Tuppelo Honey again! I have been dreaming about their buiscuits and chicken. Who doesn’t like that combination?!?! I mean, the place is really amazing. And if you have never been to Asheville, it is one of the meccas of Hipster living. My honey should fit right in, even if he denies being part of that subgroup! Haha.

 

Leaving home and looking for Lumberjacks. *Guest Post*

Leaving home and looking for Lumberjacks. *Guest Post*

I am honored Ms. Coco and the Gentleman Farmer asked me to write a guest post. I’ve been following their blog and I think it’s awesome.

Honestly, reading their posts gives me hope; hope that one day I’ll have someone to do crazy challenges with and who will be willing try new things to better our relationship.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m Ms. Coco’s friend and our favorite couple’s permanent third wheel. She hates when I call myself the latter, but hey I’m a realist.

I recently moved to Kentucky from North Carolina. Moving to Lexington was a great decision on my part and I have no regrets. Of course, I miss my family, but it’s only a seven-hour drive to travel home to small town America. Yes, I packed up my entire life and relocated to a city I only visited once; a city where the only people I know are the Gentleman Farmer and Ms. Coco. They both played a key role in my decision to move here.

Prior to my move, they assured me I wouldn’t be alone. Still, I honestly feared that once I got here things would change. However, they’ve been great and their friends have embraced my eccentric personality. I’m really enjoying it here, from games nights, to escape rooms, lots of dinners, and plenty of deep conversations. Truthfully, they are always inviting me to join in on their plans.

While I appreciate their efforts, I don’t plan on being the third wheel forever. Although the dating scene in Lexington is DRY! I joined Tinder my first month here and clearly, I was not successful. I guess my “problem” is I believe in certain gender roles, especially when it comes to relationships. I NEED, not want, to be courted. Men were put on this Earth for a reason. Lol. All jokes aside, I believe it’s man’s job to pursue a woman he likes. Thus, if we match on Tinder, you need to make the first move. Sadly, society doesn’t seem to agree with me, so after matching with over a dozen guys and only two percent making the first move, I had to delete Tinder. No loss there.

I guess Ms. Coco saw my plight and took pity on me, so she tried to hook me up with her cousin in Tennessee. Initially, I declined her offer. I have this rule about dating relatives of my friends. Been there, done that and it did not end pretty. After much convincing from Ms. Coco and company, I decided to give it a shot. Well that ship never sailed. Heck it never left the dock. Don’t ask.

Now I’m putting my energy into finding my lumberjack. Ever since I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I’ve had this thing for lumberjacks. You really can’t blame a girl; Hugh Jackman as lumberjack Logan/Wolverine is EVERYTHING. I’m currently planning a trip to Wolverine, Michigan to attend a lumberjack festival this summer. Our favorite couple has agreed to come with me.

The clock is ticking for me. I’m 30 and I want children before 35, so wish me luck. If all else fails, there’s always Craigslist. Jk 😊