Jamaica here I come…(I hope)

Earlier this week we received an invitation to my younger cousin’s wedding in…(yep, you guessed it) Jamaica.  The wedding is in October.  Even though I’ve been to Jamaica before I would love to go back; not only to see my cousin get married but to experience the place as an adult.  The last time I went I was on a school trip for our 4H club.

The wedding is going to be at the Jewel Runaway Beach and Golf Resort.  The hotel is all inclusive, of course and tad bit expensive (at least for me) given that the rates are in US dollars and an exchange rate of about $2.70 Eastern Carribean Dollars (the currency used here in Antigua & Barbuda) to $1 US.  So we would be paying almost three times what he and his family would be paying for the same trip.

For the past few days I’ve been trying to figure out how I could save enough to make the trip in the short space of time…because I really want to go. Really!

My options include:

  • sticking to Ramen noodles for the next few months (FYI: I hate noodles.)
  • robbing a bank (Uh, no!)
  • getting a loan (which I would rather not do)

Then I remembered the 52 week money challenge, one of my Pinterest finds.  If you Google it you will get a bunch of sites that explain what to do, which isn’t exactly rocket science anyway.  The essence of it is basically you save increasing amounts of money every week for the 52 weeks.  So week one you would save $1. Then week two, $2 and so on.  At the end you should have saved $1378.00.

Source

But then the wedding is in about 5 months. The challenge is 52 weeks.  So I asked myself how could I make it work? And self screamed, condense it!

Call me crazy but for the next 52 days I am going to attempt to save $1378.00.  In the past I haven’t done particularly well with condensed timelines, my Camp Nano attempts (here) should be proof of that but I’m going to try it anyway.  The amount would only cover part of the trip’s cost but everything counts.

So my 52 day money challenge will run me from June 6th to July 28th.  At the end of the month, which is roughly the half way point, I’ll update my progress.

Wish me luck!

 

 

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Bucket List?

In case you missed a few of my posts the past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing alot. Going through old pics and thinking about what I’ve done so far in my life and what I have yet to do.  There are alot of things I would love to see and do before I get too old to do them.   So to that end I sat down and wrote a bucket list. Sort of.

I really don’t want to call it a bucket list.  It sounds too melancholy.   I think it will be my Awesome List or maybe my Great Expectations list.  But then most, if not all, of these can be accomplished in a few years if I plan properly.  So how about “My Before 40 List”.  I’m still working on the name and I won’t say how long I have before that age.

Anyway this is a list of things I would love to accomplish in the next few years before I hit the big 40…

TRAVEL

  • Travel across Europe
  • Visit China
  • Roadtrip across the USA
  • Travel across Canada

LIFE

  • Learn to swim
  • Conquer my fear of heights and go zip-lining
  • Get a tattoo with my son’s name and birthdate
  • Buy a car
  • Build a house
  • Learn a new language

EVENTS

  • Attend a blog conference
  • Do Blogcademy
  • Attend Writers Digest Annual Writing Conference
  • Attend New York City Wine & Food Festival
  • Attend a natural hair conference/meet-up

WRITING (this should have been first but saved the best for last)

  • Write & publish at least 3 novels
  • Get my own website

 

If you have any suggestions for anything on my list please let me know.

 

 

Photos

I hope everyone one had a good Easter weekend.   Did a little shopping, went to the beach.  Didn’t enjoy mine as much as I thought  I would but c’est la vie.

Anyway I wanted to share a few pics I took the other day.  Trying my hand at a bit of photography in hopes of improving my blog pics.

 

 

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I think they came out pretty good. Didn’t edit them in any way.

 

Pinterest project…

I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a bit off a Pinterest obsession. Something Swanky has some great Pinterest boards showcasing her recipes and a couple weeks ago there were a few on making granola bars.

So I decided to try my hand at making some.  I didn’t have a specific recipe that I followed…Kinda created my own.  Here goes:

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Banana Raisin Granola Bars

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsps corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Mix the oats, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut in a large bowl.  Mash bananas and add to bowl.  Melt sugar, butter & corn syrup together. Watch carefully and try not to burn the sugar (like I did! lol).  Let that mixture come to slow boil. Add vanilla last.  Add the syrup miture to the oats mix in the bowl.  Mix well, coating all the oats with the syrup.  Spread granola in a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30-40 mins at 200 degrees. When cool, cut into squares.

When I did it I only used 2 1/5 cups of oats and it came out a little flat so I adjusted the recipe.  The end result tasted really good.  Next time I don’t think I’ll use the bananas.

 

Blogging for 2014…My blog plan.

In a post a few weeks ago I wrote about possibly changing up my blog content a bit since I found it so tough coming up with something fresh and interesting that was based purely on my writing.  Let’s face it nobody wants to hear me ramble on about being stuck in editing or writer’s block in every other post.

I found an article on writing a blog plan that was very helpful in getting me started with this new direction for my blog.  So I sat down to do some brainstorming.  I still want my content to include writing but I now want to add things going on away from my computer because as much as I want to write I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day.

So I listed

  • what I liked and disliked about my blog (I am really happy with my new header: designed it myself).
  • what I thought blogging should be (FUN!!).
  • a few things that I am interested in and thought of ways to incorporate them into my blog content.
  • Blogging goals for the year.

That being said my new blog plan includes the following:

  • Better/more pictures.
  • My writing
  • Book reviews, what I’m currently reading.
  • Work in progress updates
  • Lifestyle
  • My home

The blogging schedule that I will do my very best to follow will be:

  • On Mondays: a post about writing.  Could be a short story I recently wrote, an article or a book review.  It will most likely be book or writing related.
  • Thursdays will be something about my life, my hobbies, where I live etc.

My blog plan is alot more of a detailed mess and I don’t want to bore you with the entire list.  What I will say is that I plan on following it for the next three months and see if it helps in getting me excited about blogging again.

Does anyone have a blog plan?