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important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen

Month

January 2014

New foodie adventure … (not by choice)

I love a challenge, especially when it comes to food.

I secretly like trying to cooking on a budget, trying to sneak in ingredients that are healthy, food with a purpose.  When my husband decided to not eat meat for Lent, it became more than a change in the shopping list – but something with a purpose.  Something spiritual.

By the way, NO.  I don’t have Food network shows on our DVR.  (but if I’m home alone and Good Eats is on, I’m happy to watch. Granted that almost never happens.)  I’ve always enjoyed thinking through food .  Most of the time however, life happens, I get busy or lazy and don’t always follow through.

Or I realize there’s an awesome coupon in the paper for pizza.

Now, however, there are stakes attached.  (I don’t like puns, but for the sake of a few friends: When there are stakes attached to eating, it’s not as much fun as when steaks are attached…ba-dum-dum.)

As part of the new year, we are trying to be more attentive to health. To money. To planning ahead.  Thanks to a few immediate extended family issues, we have gotten to hear about some potential health challenges ahead.  So now, we are on a quest to prevent issues that seem to be prevalent in our family history.

Looks like we get to be concerned about cancer prevention for me, and heart issues for my husband.  My dad is starting to deal with blood sugar issues.  Both of C’s parents battled stomach issues.  While I don’t like talking about death (who does really?), I really don’t like talking about suffering. And sadly a lot of health issues in our families have added components of suffering…in addition to those great life insurance question of ages of death.

So if adding a little spice to some chili will help heal, then by all means, we’re eating chili.  If drinking extra green tea needs to happen, then I will figure out a way to make that habitual.

This blog will probably take a turn to more cooking ideas.  Ways to take the recipes that we love to eat and turn them into something that we need to eat.  Food as high-octane fuel.  Not just delicious sustenance.  Truly eating to live.  Let my failures (which I’m more than happy to post) be your successes.  If you’re in our shoes and have some ideas on ways to stay both on track – with diet AND budget – please let me know.

Here’s to healthy eating, long happy lives, and a little extra money in the retirement account!

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It’s a Turmeric Miracle?

So I’ve been reading quite a bit about the amazing miracle spice that is turmeric.  Countries that include this spice in their regular diet have virtually no cases of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s been shown to prevent many types of cancers, multiple sclerosis and leukemia.  It’s been used to treat depression, helps kick up your metabolism and it is a natural way to detox your liver.

Among many other things.

So I went to Kroger and a little teensy jar was about $6. spice

I know I know.  Getting sick is expensive.  You can’t place a dollar value on your health.  That’s the same price as a detox smoothie.  Yeah. Yeah.  Yeah.

I decided in 2014 I wanted to be more focused on health – AND saving money – so I popped over to our local Indian grocery store.  I figure these folks use spice every day – and their prices are incredible.  For Nashville locals, Patel Brothers Grocery sells a small bag of Turmeric for only $4.  Perfect!

The downside?

I now have nearly a pound of turmeric.  But it was only $4!

Now I need your help. I have no idea what to do with a pound of turmeric.   Don’t get me wrong.  I like curry as much as the next girl – but my husband isn’t quite as thrilled with the idea of our home (and our skin) smelling like a plate of palak paneer.  Somehow I think he would choose prostate cancer over the idea of eating a steady stream of Indian food.

I need your help!

Can you give me your favorite ideas for sneaking a little wonder-spice in your food?  Or in your beauty routine?  I’ll post some turmeric successes on here from time to time as well.  I appreciate any and all advice.

Here’s to saving money, being healthy and eating yellow colored food!

 

 

Why no, I didn’t just order an air charter….

So today I got a very interesting text message – from my credit card.  Asking if I had ok-ed a charge for an air charter. Image

An air charter?

Turns out someone got the information from my card and tried to make 3 charges to 2 travel websites.  They got through 2 charges – one for $45 and another for $300…but the third one is where they got denied.  Thankfully Chase appears to be on the ball…but after all of the talk of so many companies having their data stolen, it just makes me feel truly vulnerable.   

I’ve done a little research and it appears that the travel site edreams.com is a fraud and is rather infamous for stealing people’s information and money.  This site, of course, is where my card was “compromised.”

I’ve also done some reading and found out from a congressman that, funny, the government is not required to report if they are hacked.  Keep that in mind next time you file your taxes online or decide to get insurance.

So I changed some passwords.  I shredded the card.  I’m trying to remember if anything other than the newspaper is automatically charged on this card.  I moved some money from a checking account (attached to a different debit card) to a savings account that I hope would be harder to hack.  I worried if our internet wifi is secure…I try to remember if I bought anything online when we stayed at a hotel last month…

Maybe it’s a good thing.  Since talking to Chase today, I have been thinking about safety.  Security.  Life.  The future.  It’s a new year and time to do the stuff that isn’t fun.  Talk about life insurance.  Wills.  Credit reports.  Taxes.  Maybe my financial invasion was a jump start to being a grown up.  To paying more attention…

But I guess what really makes me sad is, I really want to trust people.  I want people to make good decisions. I want the person (or the person who programmed the computer) to not feel the need to take and destroy.  I wish I could just ask him/her why they feel the need to disrupt people’s lives.  I wish they would put their energies to something that mattered…something that would make the world a better place.  Something that would bring people together.  Something that would help our cyber world…

But for now, I hope that those travel site charges come back to haunt them for a long, long time. 

Golden Globes

Hilarious – did you catch the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s monologue at the Golden Globes?  Even if you did – it’s Monday, you probably need to laugh…you should stop working, watch and add some joy to today:

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/awesome_of_the_day/2014/01/watch-tina-fey-and-amy-pohelers-flawless-hilarious-golden-globes-monologue.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Thank you Paste for posting this!

My husband found this for me…

He knows me so well —

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I wish I knew who to give credit to for this…thank you—whoever you are…

Invest in 2014

So – I’m rethinking my word of the year.  “Do” is a fitting word, but I think “Invest” is a better word.

I want to invest in things that matter.  In people that matter.  Money. Energy. Time. Work. Focus.  Now, mind you, this doesn’t necessarily mean things that matter exclusively to me.  Supporting things and people who need help, causes that need support, people who need to know they have value…this all fits in investing.

But a lot of this will also include saving money to be able to financially invest in things that matter as well.  

My husband mentioned that he wants to wake up each year and think of a way to save money…I want to take that another step and say I want to think of a way to save – and create opportunity.

But today was cold. And it was a Sunday.  So I put up the weather stripping that we had purchased late last year thinking that it would be worth an extra tax credit.  Our windows are sealed shut right before the coldest air this area has seen in decades.  I’m counting on some savings in heating costs until we can have cash for more replacement windows – which will save us money as well as add value to our home.

Tomorrow though, I need to invest more in my marriage – and maybe cut some coupons.

Do.

2013 beach sunrise

So I’ve been thinking about this new year – and feeling like a need to name it. Or title it.  Or give a word or focus for the year.   And I think it’s a series.  This year is the year of DO.

I want to stop talking and start doing.
I want to stop sitting and start moving.
I want to stop consuming and start creating.
I want to stop consuming things that don’t last and start writing things that do.
I want to stop reading updates and start reading books.
I want to see less screens and more smiles.
I want to react less and strategize more.

A few of these are things that make me uncomfortable, or just take work – so perhaps the statement should be the comfort-zone-free year.

But I think “do” has a better ring to it.

So apologies to Nike – but here’s to a year of saying….just do it.

New year – New life – New season – New energy – New beginnings

I woke up today not really sure about 2014.  In a lot of ways, I felt like wheels were just spinning in 2013.  Work was great financially – but not for my spirit.  My faith felt a bit in a holding pattern – faith existed, but I really didn’t feel like any new revelations came to life.  Our home needed a lot of work so much energy, time and focus was directed there instead of to changing our future.   I didn’t have any goals in place, so of course, I didn’t achieve any goals.

I know all the really great things about a person’s character show up in the little stuff…but I’m just not used to not having some big stuff to balance out the normal.

Don’t get me wrong – 2013 was insanely blessed.  We have food on the table, incredible friends, healthy bodies, 2 puppies full of joy.  My marriage and family are fantastic and life-giving.  We live in a country where the big irritations in life are a busy road by the shopping center, wireless that is too slow and those few chilly moments running from our warm home to our soon-to-be-warm car.  

But my shoulders are tense and tired – and it’s time to release some of that pressure, both literally and figuratively.  

So here’s to 2014 – goals will be set…and met.  Dreams will be dreamed, discussed and hopefully lived.  Time is short.  Here’s to a year of better music, more dancing, exposing dreams, acting on life and making the most of every moment.  

Happy New Year everyone.

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