On My Mind

I’ve been thinking about money a lot lately.

And, no, not in the “what should I buy” kind of way.

As the end if the year creeps closer and closer (side note: It’s almost mid-December, you guys. Mind. Blown.), I’ve been thinking a lot about my financial goals for the year.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that one of my biggest goals this year was to pay of all of my credit card debt. Well, it’s time for me to admit that I’m not quite going to make it.

However.

I recently sold some stock I’ve had since college that made me a pretty decent amount if money, which helped me pay off almost a quarter of the debt amount. And I’m currently working on a freelance project that, once I get my check, will pay off all but a few hundred dollars of the leftover amount. And then, within no more than two months, I’ll be able to pay off the rest.

What I’m saying is, by no later than March I’ll be debt-free once again.

I’m quite giddy at the prospect, which makes waiting for that day to arrive even harder. My giddiness even (almost) makes up for the disappointment if falling just short of my goal. (For the record, I would have made it, but a pretty significant freelance gig fell through. In that the company I was working for just stopped responding to my emails as still owes me a check for the last round of blog posts I sent them. I’d put them on blast, but I can’t shake the glimmer or hope that they’ve jut been really busy…for the last two months…grumble.)

Anyway, it’s going to happen, and soon, and it’s one of the most satisfying feelings ever.

Then I can finally start really saving, hopefully for a down payment on a house (someday). Geez, you guys, when did we get so grown-up?

So I’m curious: Did anyone else have any goals, financial or otherwise, that they set this year? Did you make them? Or fall somewhat short like I did? What’s your next goal?

You guys. I’m really excited.

So you know how I talk about my love of Etsy all the time? Like, all the time?

Well, I have recently stumbled into an Etsy GIFT CARD. (Whaaaat? You didn’t know these exist? Educate yo’self.) Which is awesome. It’s $25 of pure, unadulterated awesomeness.

The only “problem”? I have no idea what to spend it on. I could literally spend hours scouring all the options, and, well, always find a million things I wouldn’t be sad if I owned.

So…I need advice. Do you have a favorite Etsy shop I should check out? Or did you recently get something you can’t stop grinning at whenever you see it?

I pulled together a few things that I’ve had my eye on for a while below…which one should I pull the trigger on? (Some of them are more than $25, but would be a whole-heck-of-a-lot-more affordable with a gift card.)

Basically, I’m an indecisive spaz. Help me.

What Should I Buy from Etsy?

So what do you think? WHAT SHOULD I GET?

It is officially really, really cold out. Bitterly cold, you might say.

It’s around this time of year, when the morning train platform starts to feel like its own form of torture, that I usually find myself thinking about the same kinds of things:

Is it going to get colder? Am I going to start hating my commute again? Is this the year I finally crack and buy a puffy winter coat?

I’m dangerously close to conceding on the last one. Sure, I would prefer not to look like a marshmallow, but these freezing temperatures aren’t messing around.

From there, I start making a list of all the cold-weather items I should probably add to my list. And since it has been a while since I blogged, I’m sharing it with you. I’m also hoping to hear your recommendations if you’ve purchased one if these items (or something similar) with great success. Most of my readers are in the Midwest or on the East Coast, so I know y’all have some winter wardrobe advice.

Must-Haves for a New York Winter

H m
$13 – hm.com

180s glove
kohls.com

Faux fur hat
$26 – oliverbonas.com

 

Do you ever sometimes randomly remember something about yourself as a child and think, “Why wasn’t I bullied more?”

Because, seriously you guys, I was a weird little kid. For about a six-year stretch, I had braces and then glasses and then braces again. (By some miracle, however, the two never coincided. God isn’t that cruel.) I played the flute. I was in show choir. I was in the theater group. I was in the top mock trial team. (#mocktrialnerds4life)

In fact, if I stopped to think about it, I’m not sure I could point to a singular moment in my adolescence that I was like, “Yup, that was a cool moment right there. So smooth.”

NOT A SINGLE THING.

But the thing that I just remembered? In middle school, though I always had nice clothes (courtesy of my stylish mother) and was always dressed in something different every day, I would go weeks at a time wearing the same over-sized sweatshirt over whatever I had on. And not just any sweatshirt.

I was just sitting here eating my favorite pre-race breakfast (Nutella on toast with coffee, inspired by my runner friend Emilia) before my 5-mile turkey trot later this morning, drinking out of my hilarious “duck tape” mug:

…when I had the following thought process:

“I love this mug. Where did I get it again? Oh right, my childhood bestie Jackie bought it for me because I had a sweatshirt with the same thing one it. …that I used to wear EVERY DAY in middle school. A middle school that I had just moved to. …Why the heck did no one pick on me in middle school?”

Because, for realz, you guys. Every day. I don’t even know why I thought that was socially acceptable. (Though, looking back, there were a lot of things I did that now I’m like, “Yeah….okay, baby Justine. Ya weirdo.”)

But then I started thinking, “Well…but I wasn’t bullied. Like, at all. I was very fortunate that way. My middle school days were fairly blissful. In fact, that is probably the weirdest part about my middle school experience.”

So what was the difference? Maybe I wasn’t quite as crippled by my fear of embarrassment back then? Maybe I was even more accepting of my weirdness, delighted by it, in fact, and that inner peace and happiness somehow warded off any cruelty?

I really don’t know.

The point is (I think?), that I was the weird little kid who wore the forest green (ohhh, baby Justine…) “duck tape” sweatshirt every day for weeks. And I was so, so happy. And I turned out just fine. So maybe, even if I’m weird and embarrassing occasionally now, I’ll turn out even more fine in another twelve years.

I mean, it is a pretty snazzy coffee mug. #weirdkids4life

You guyyyyys.

I feel like I’ve been in this apartment for a month. Getting a wee bit stir-crazy.

To be fair, we have left a couple of times. The day after the storm, we drove to visit Joey’s grandma and make sure she was okay. And we ate at Johnny Rockets because the mall had electricity and we did not. (Desperate times.)

And yesterday, I went to the gym. (Hey, if it’s open…)

But other than that, we’ve been staying put to reserve gas in our cars. (In case…we have to flee? I have no idea. But pretty much every pump has a line around the block, so we’d rather not have to get gas until things calm down a bit.)

The weird thing is, when we stay in our apartment, we can almost pretend like everything is back to normal. We have electricity, Internet, hot water. Last night we ordered delivery sushi. (And, yes, felt a tiny bit douche-y doing it. BUT IF IT’S OPEN, WE WANT TO SUPPORT, YOU GUYS.)

If anything, things are nicer than normal because I’ve been home all week so the apartment has stayed cleaner than normal. (I’m bored, remember? That means lots o’ cleaning going on.)

Like I said, we’ve been very, very fortunate.

That being said, I’m still pretty glad that tonight we have plans outside our home that require us to wear real pants and brush our hair. Because it’s time, guys.

How is everyone else holding up? Getting cabin fever like me? Or too busy worrying about real issues like property damage and lack of electricity? Let me know if I can help!

Well, the power is out again, so I don’t want to waste too much phone battery, but I wanted to give everyone a quick update of our status.

We’re FINE.

I went exploring briefly this morning (okay, I was seeing if I could find a cup of coffee…no dice) and every traffic light in our town is out. There is a lot of debris and branches and I passed three downed power lines. It’s still a bit windy, but not too bad.

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But again, we are fine.

Both our offices are closed for the day (not that I could get to the city anyway since the trains are still shut off), so for now we’re just hanging out. Fun fact: The aftermath of hurricanes is kind of dull.

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Right now my biggest concerns are how long we have before all our refrigerated food soils and everything I have to catch up on at work.

Which, given the alternatives, are two pretty take concerns to have.

Hopefully everyone else is staying safe too!