Today my childhood dog, Chewie past away. My parents made the decision to put him to sleep after discovering his body was riddled with tumors. He had been slowly suffering the last few months, and these past couple weeks his health drastically deteriorated to the point where he was vomiting and choking this morning; x-rays revealed the tumors, so my parents decided it was best to end his suffering.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. T

I’ll miss him running up the driveway with us every time we’d come to visit. I’ll miss him barking at us to get his treat because he didn’t run out the gate. And I’ll miss watching him run with my two dogs. One day I’ll see him again at the Rainbow Bridge.


Last week I finally got around to emptying a couple of boxes that had stuff in it from when we got the flooring put in, so I had a nice big box that was perfect for being the outbox this month.

The Outbox

In addition to that, we got a notice for a donations pickup on the 22nd, so all we’ll have to do is drag our outbox to the curb that morning.

Wednesday’s assignment was to purge the pantry, but I tend to stay pretty on top of my pantry since it’s small and I use it quite often. If anything I’m running a little low on things, so a pantry-related shopping trip will be in order soon.

10 Minute Mini Meditation & Pick a Project – We didn’t budget a whole lot for household expenses this month (thanks Christmas and birthdays), so any projects we get done this month are going to be little to no cost. The one that definitely stands out as needing some attention is the closet for the guest room.

The Guest Closet

It’s been like that for quite some time, but it’s the last room that needs new closet doors. All we have to do is get said doors and a shelf for the inside, and then it is done!

My weekend assignment was to clean the kitchen, so I started by clearing out anything 2014 from the fridge on Saturday and ended Sunday night with giving the floors another cleaning since they get dirty so easy.

Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen

There is definitely something to be said about a nice clean kitchen (and fresh flowers).

– – –

This month I am participating in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. During the month of January, one assignment at a time, I’m getting my home in great shape. By the end of January, I’ll be sitting pretty in a clean, fresh, organized home. I did this in 2013 and 2014 too!

January Cure 2014

On Thursday the annual January Cure by Apartment Therapy kicked off! My weekend assignment was to get fresh flowers and clean the floors. Since we just had a party the floors are pretty clean due to us cleaning the house to prepare for it.

Today’s assignment is to plan out my cure and list all the projects that need to be done around the house. I did this list last year twice, one when I was doing the Cure for 2014 and second as a halfway through the year checkin post when celebrating our house-versary. We’ve gotten a LOT done since I last did this list, so it’s nice to start fresh for this year.

Front of the House

  • Replace front lights with photosensored ones that all match
  • Add shrubs or plants to the area next to the garage
  • Continue adding decor to front porch
  • Create some kind of a sign so people won’t park so close to our mailbox


  • Add a bench and/or more storage
  • Organize closet
  • Add some kind of entry table + charging station?

Living Room

  • Add more art to walls
  • Replace gas fireplace with pellet stove
  • Add wall paneling and shelving to create a mantel
  • Clean out and organize sideboard
  • Replace scratching post (carpet material is coming apart)

Dining Room

  • Replace artwork above bookshelf?
  • Style bookshelf
  • Repaints walls
  • Make a chalkboard wall?


  • Clean out and organize under the kitchen sink
  • Replace cabinets
  • Replace countertops + backsplash
  • Replace sink + faucet
  • Replace flooring
  • Replace dishwasher
  • Replace the over-the-hood range

Laundry Room

  • Repaint walls
  • Replace flooring
  • Paint trim and door
  • Add shelving
  • Replace cabinets
  • Make a designated pantry area
  • Replace door going from kitchen to laundry room with pocket door


  • Add gable vents and roof vents
  • Add additional shelving and storage

Media/Entertainment Room

  • Organize and add to home gym corner
  • Organize Joshua’s corner of the room


  • Continue adding art to the wall
  • Paint linen closet doors
  • Organize linen closet

Guest Bedroom

  • Replace closet doors with mirror doors
  • Add either a wall clock or digital clock to nightstand
  • Add a couple more guest amenities

Guest Bathroom

  • Organize inside cabinets
  • Add a couple more guest amenities
  • Update flooring
  • Fix shower plumbing problems
  • Replace shower head

Master Bathroom

  • Replace print on shelf above toilet
  • Organize vanity drawers
  • De-gold shower
  • Replace pocket door

Master Bedroom

  • Add more art/prints to walls


  • Finish pulling out unwanted plants, trees, shrubs, etc.
  • Put in irrigation
  • Add new shrubs and ground-cover
  • Remove garden beds
  • Get new table to go with outdoor furniture on deck
  • Add more outdoor lighting
  • Fix electrical in the shed
  • Paint, clean-up, and organize shed
  • Get a hot tub

Happy 2015!

As tradition, we rang in 2015 with about 15-20 people at our annual New Year’s Eve Party & LAN Party. Attendance was down slightly this year due to most people out with a cold, but we still had a good time with the people that were able to make it.

We had a delicious spread including baked brie and our famous Chili Cheese Dip.

The Food

The Food

While some of the guys gamed, the rest of us socialized in the living room, kitchen and around the fire pit!

The Gamers

The Guests

The Fire Pit

Despite it being freexing cold outside, we were able to break in our fire pit and enjoy delicious smores!

The next day some of us napped, some of us continued to game, and I watched Gilmore Girls. Definitely a great way to unwind after the holidays.

Hope everyone had a fun New Years and gets 2015 off to a great start!


Survey of 2014

1. Where were you when 2014 began?
Joshua, Dani, and I hosted our annual New Year’s Eve LAN Party. We rang in the new year with over 30 people, and despite several people getting sick with a stomach flu, we still had an awesome time!
Happy New Year!

2. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

  • Took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
  • Became a small group leader for Financial Peace University with Joshua and thus becoming part of the Financial Ministry at church
  • Took Dave Ramsey’s The Legacy Journey
  • Toured the Tesla factory
  • Saw several shows I’ve never seen before (see #6)

3. Did you keep your 2014 resolutions?

  • Be a better Weight Watchers tracker – I sucked at this so bad! Ugh, I’m really gonna try to be better about this in 2015.
  • Lose weight in time for our April cruise – Unfortunately no and to add to that the cruise didn’t event happen.
  • Get back on a consistent exercise routine – I started getting into a consistent routine but fell off track towards the middle of the year.
  • Stick to a budget – We were able to create and stick to one thanks to taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at our church.
  • Finish my scrapbooks – Nope.
  • Don’t dine out as much – Did pretty well with this especially once we were on the Dave Ramsey program and trying to get out of debt.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Quite a few of my friends had babies this year!

5. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness. We had a scare in September with my grandpa in which we were 99% close to losing him. He was rushed to the ICU for heart complications and had to have a temporary pacemaker put in. At one point they called code blue, but thankfully his heart started back up all on its own. A couple days later he was strong enough to be transferred to another hospital where he had surgery for a permanent pacemaker. He was then transferred to a rehab center for a couple weeks where he had to adjust to using a walker. He finally was able to go back to his assisted living apartment, and he’s doing great so far.

6. Go to any concerts this year?
No concerts, but I went to quite a few shows! I saw a lot of musicals and ended the year by seeing The Nutcracker live for the very first time!
Seeing Mary Poppins at Music Circus with @daniloo and our mom! #lovemusicals

Bali Ha'i is calling my name! #southpacific #lovemusicals #sacmusicals

Enjoying the last show of the 2014 Music Circus season - La Cage Aux Folles! #sacmusicals #lovemusicals

And to conclude the evening... Jersey Boys! Compliments of my client, California Musical Theatre! #sacmusicals #calmt #anniversary

Seeing The Nutcracker and supporting my client @sacballet! So excited to be sharing this experience with my mom who is the biggest Nutcracker fan I know!

7. Will you be looking for a new job in 2015?
At one point I thought I might be, but we’re going to go through some big changes at my company next year, all of which are very positive, so I plan on sticking around for that.

8. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2014?
Not really. If anything I think I drank less.

9. Did you go on any vacations? If so, where?
I went on a few overnight trips and to a conference in June for a few days, but the only vacation I actually went on was our annual family vacation. It happened in September and we went to Convict Lake again.

#convictlake #hike #vacation

10. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Becoming DEBT FREE (minus the house) and being on a plan to win with money! 2014 was the year of Dave Ramsey, and it was the best thing to have ever happened to us!

11. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2014 and change something, what would it be?
There really isn’t any particular moment that comes to mind. I don’t really have any significant regrets.

12. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No injuries, but I did have a couple months of back-to-back colds, a sinus infection, and a bladder infection.

13. What was the best thing you bought?
The laminate flooring in my house!
New Flooring, Day 1

14. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Joshua! Not only was he willing to give this whole Dave Ramsey thing a shot, but he helps hold me accountable for staying on budget. I’m so glad it put us on the same page!

15. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Certain clients. No surprises there. The good thing is we’ve cut ties with almost all our super stressful/rude clients. Always good to get the negativity of our your life!

16. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off debt. Being on the Dave Ramsey plan we spent a lot of time at Baby Step 2 which was paying off all debt using the Debt Snowball.

17. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

18. What song will always remind you of 2014?

19. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder?
I’m definitely more optimistic!

ii. thinner or fatter?
I’m up a few pounds from last year. It’s been really tough trying to lose weight with a desk job.

iii. richer or poorer?
I feel like we are definitely richer now that we have learned take control of our finances. Plus since I sold my property I have a little more extra money coming in too.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Paying attention to my weight.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending money and eating food.

22. How did you spend Christmas?
Joshua, Dani and I had a wonderful Christmas this year. We kicked it off with Christmas Eve mass with my parents followed by a crockpot chili and corn bread dinner at my house. Later in the evening Joshua’s parents and siblings stopped by for gift exchanging.

The next morning, Dani, Joshua, and I exchanged gifts from each other and then we went over to Joshua’s adopted parents house for a delicious brunch and more gift exchanging. After brunch it was back to the house where we cleaned and got to work on Christmas dinner. My parents, grandpa, uncle, and two cousins joined us for Christmas dinner.

Ready For Christmas Dinner

23. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Nope, just kept a good thing going, as usual. :) We celebrated 10 years of being together and four years of marriage this year.

#throwback to four years ago today when Joshua and I said, "I do." Today also marks 10 years we have been together. #throwbackthursday #tbt #anniversary #wedding #marriage

24. What was the biggest change for you in 2014?
Our finances. Taking Financial Peace University has really changed our lives and how we manage money.

25. What were your favorite TV shows?

  • Sherlock – Joshua & I really got into this during a lull in our regular shows. So glad we did because we’re hooked now!
  • Once Upon a Time – I can’t believe I didn’t get into this show sooner! It is my absolute favorite!
  • Gotham – I’m quite the Batman fan and this show was perfect!
  • Girls – I had meaning to watch this show for awhile, and now it’s one of my favorites.
  • What Not To Wear – My sister was watching this during her summer break on Netflix, and I ended up binge watching it.
  • Constantine – So much better than the movie! Joshua and I love this show! It fills our Friday night void while we wait for Hannibal to return.

26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate? No. Dislike and don’t care to deal with? Yes.

27. What was the best book you read?
Below are the books I read in 2014. My favorite was EntreLeadership.

28. What did you want and get?
To be debt free (minus the house). That was a big one! Also getting the floors done.

29. What did you want and not get?
The backyard landscaped and the shed fixed. Hopefully this will happen in 2015!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Below are the movies I saw in 2014. My favorite was Hunger Games (again). I usually base my favorite on whether or not I will go see it in theaters again, and I really enjoyed Mockingjay, especially after reading the book. Saving Mr. Banks was really good too though!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
In 2014 I turned 27. I took the day off from work and got a facial, went shopping with my mom, and went to dinner with Joshua at The Melting Pot.

#fonduefortwo #birthday

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Either staying the same or losing weight instead of gaining.

33. What kept you sane?
Listening to the Dave Ramsey Show almost everyday on my way to work. Listening to all the different stories and advice kept me motivated.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Didn’t fancy anyone in particular, but I gained admiration for a quite a few.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
None come to mind!

36. Who did you miss?
I kinda missed my Mormor this year. Not only have I been having reaccuring dreams in which she is not really dead, but my grandparents’ house being sold and remodeled brought back a lot of memories/feelings.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
John, my sister’s boyfriend. He’s nice! WEWW!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

“It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.”
— Lewis B. Smedes

I learned there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. It took me awhile to realize that you can forgive someone, but you don’t have to reconcile with them.

39. What are your resolutions for 2015?
Tackle the resolutions I didn’t accomplish this year.

40. What are your plans for 2015?
Really change things around at work and work on a few personal goals. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get around to starting a family!