Friday, July 23, 2010

Step 1

Today I received my acceptance letter to my local community college, I am one step closer to my new future. The next step is to apply for my transcripts from all of my previous colleges and have them sent to the school. I also have to go in for orientation and academic advising.

In order to get into the LPN program I have to take the TEAS exam and get at least a composite score of 88%. I ordered the study guide and a GED study guide online and hope to start studying by next weekend. I am giving myself a month to study before I take the exam.

I found an online forum all about nursing ( and some of the stories I've read are horrifying. There are people with high test scores and 4.0 GPA's not being excepted into the programs.

Good thing I have a back-up plan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Water Water Everywhere

How much water should you drink in a day?

I Googled that question and found this on the Mayo Clinic web site

  • Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about 4 cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids.
  • Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total. Although the approach really isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this easy-to-remember rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
  • Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

I hardly drink anything through out the day, I'm surprised that I haven't died of dehydration yet. I was doing o.k. with my water intake for a while but then I fell off the wagon.

My first step toward better health is to drink 9 cups of water per day.

Currently I carry 1 700ml (1 pint) bottle of water to work with me every day, to get the 9 cups recommended I would need to drink 4.5 bottles every day.

To make this more economical (and earth friendly) I will buy gallon water bottles and drink half per day.

Wow, I am going to be spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

You're A Hard Habit To Break

In my effort to lose weight and eat healthier I have realized that when it comes to certain foods I have no will power. If I can get my hands on them I will eat them as fast as I can. Therefore I have decided to make the effort to not purchase these items anymore.

1. Frozen pizza
2. Cadbury chocolate bars
3. Tyson jumbo wings of fire (frozen hot wings)
4. Oreo's
5. Keebler Fudge Shoppe Fudge Stripes

Why is it that the food that taste the best are the worst for you?

Not buying these ever so delicious items will help me cut back on my spending too.

Why Nursing?

A few days ago Superstar Genius asked why am I now interested in becoming a nurse or dietitian with my background in retail.

These are questions I asked myself numerous times before I made my final decision, here are my reasons - in no particular order.

1. I never liked retail.

Retail was a means to an end. When I was in college I needed a job to pay the bills, I tried to get an office job but with no clerical experience I could not get one. I started out as a sales associate and worked my way up to manager. Working all of those hours took a tole on my GPA and limited the places I could apply to after graduation. I decided a job I hated was better than no job at all.

2. Visual Merchandising jobs are few and far between, and are hard to get.

Most stores do not have visual merchandisers, the few that do are either getting rid of them or have had the same employees forever. To go corporate I would have to move to New York and try to get a job from to small pool of available jobs.

3. I have no desire to open my own store, nor the capitol needed to do so.

I have been in retail long enough to see the way people act and treat stores. I would never want to take that risk with my own money.

4. I like helping people.

As a nurse (my first choice) or a dietitian I would get to help people feel better and live longer. In retail all you are doing is trying to get people to spend money they don't have and open credit cards they don't need.

5. I have to go where the money is.

I have been trying to pay off debt for years and it can not be done on $12 and hour. Nursing is an in-demand field that pays well.

As far as going back to school, once accepted I could be done with school in 4 years. In the grand scheme of things 4 years is not a long time, I will be 35. I can either be 35 doing a job I hate with no future or doing a job I would love (or at least like) with a future and a good income.

Good, Bad, or Ugly, these are my reasons.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Do You Pay For Gas?

I am a pay at the pump kind of girl, there is nothing I hate more than walking into the convenience store, wait in line behind some idiot who is picking his lotto numbers, walk back to my car, and then pump gas. I like the convenience of sticking my card in the card slot, pump the gas, get my receipt, and drive away.

Here lies the problem.

Due to the fact that people like to tamper with credit card readers, there is always a chance of your credit card information being stolen. Because of this, I pay for my gas with a credit card instead of my check card.

This in turn stops me from maintaining a zero balance. I start off paying the charge in full the next day, but after a while I start to let it pile up.

Perhaps I should start paying with cash.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Budget

Current Budget

Income - $2000 per month

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $200 (estimate, most of the time it is less)
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $170
Credit Card 1 - $90
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $250
Gas/Groceries - $200
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $80

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $80 I am saving will be going toward tuition.

Possible Future Budget

Income - $1440 per month ($12 per hour)

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $0 (my mother will have to take over this bill)
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $100 (my mother will have to take over the phone part of this bill)
Credit Card 1 - $30
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $150
Gas/Groceries - $100
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $10

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $10 I am saving will be going toward tuition.


Income - $1760 per month ($14 per hour)

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $140
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $170
Credit Card 1 - $90
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $250
Gas/Groceries - $100
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $80

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $80 I am saving will be going toward tuition.

Until the final word comes down (or I get a new job) I am living week to week.

Minimum Payment Warnings

You gotta love the minimum payment warnings that credit cards come with, they are helping me plan my assault on the credit card demon that possesses me.

Awhile back I paid off my Master Card, since then I charged it back up and was carrying a balance on the store charge card I got for work. I am glad to say that I just paid off my Master Card for the LAST TIME, I am taking it out of my wallet and giving it to my mother to hold.

Next on my hit list is my American Express with the ridiculously high interest rate (29.99%). According to the MPW if I pay $126 per month I can have the card paid off in 3 years. That is to long for me, I want to have this card paid off in 1 year. That is going to be hard on a $1400 a month budget (remember, I have a pay cut coming any day now.) I am going to try to up my payment to $250 a month and throw any extra money I get at this card.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moving On

With all that has been going on over the last few months I have stopped reading a lot of the blogs that I used to live for. With this new blog and vow to post once a day I have tried to catch up with my online family.

It seams that everyone is making great progress with their lives and crossing goals off of their to-do list. Everyone has new jobs, paid off all of their debt, are getting married, or buying homes. I am still in the same amount of debt, am about to be making less money than I have in years, and am going back to school for the third time. This is why I deleted my facebook page, everyone has these great adult lives and I still don't have two pennies to rub together.

All I can do is be inspired by everyone's progress and find new blogs to read.

Weight Loss - Take Two

I have wanted to loose the same 20 lbs for years, but have been lackluster in my approach at best. This time feels different due to all of the changes that are taking place in my life all at the same time.

I am not only trying to loose weight but become healthier also. To accomplish this I need to reduce my daily calorie intake, eat healthier meals (increase vegetables), and exercise.

Vital Stats

Height - 5' 6"
Weight - 155 lbs

Body Measurements
Bust - 35.5 inches
Waist - 31 inches
Hips - 43 inches
Thigh - 25.5 inches
Arm - 11.5

Blood Pressure - 113/77

My goal is to get down to 125lbs - 130lbs and to eat healthier. Following The Biggest Loser food pyramid I need

4 servings of Fruits & Vegetables
3 servings of Protein
2 servings of Whole Grains
200 calories of extras

My meals should be structured

1/2 protein serving
1 whole grain serving
1 fruit serving

1/2 protein serving
1 fruit serving

1 protein serving
1/2 whole grain serving
1 vegetable serving

1/2 protein serving
1 fruit serving

1/2 protein serving
1/2 whole grain serving
2 vegetable servings

I am going to start next week after I spend this weekend menu planing and grocery shopping.

Closet Crafter

Ever since I graduated fashion design school I have become a closet crafter with secret dreams of opening an Etsy shop. I have made a few things here and there (tile coasters, handbags, and most recently a jumpsuit for my sister. I must say, sitting up to 3am sewing has brought out my desire to begin crafting again. I don't know how I will find the time between work and school but I will do my best. I find I work the best with written down goals.

Craft Goals - To be completed by December 31, 2010

1. Make messenger bag for school
2. Make a mosaic vase
3. Sew one article of clothing

I am off to inventory my stash of fabric.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back To School, Yet Again.

As I stated in my last post, my position is going away and I have decided to train for a new career and give up retail. I am going back to school to study nursing (or nutrition) and start a new career. This time I am being smart about it and going to a community college first and get an A.S. The tuition is $89 per credit hour and the school will let you pay in installments, I am trying to not use anymore student loan money. After I graduate I will try to get a job in a hospital that offers tuition reimbursement and let them pay for my B.S.

I received my acceptance letter from the community college today and have to go in and speak with an adviser. Before I can apply to the nursing program I have to take the prerequisite classes

Anatomy 1
Anatomy 2
Micro Biology

and pass with at least a "C".

Competition to get into nursing school is tough, so I am going to work very hard to pass all of these classes with A's.

If I do not get accepted into the nursing program I will pursue nutrition.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Words Of Wisdom From The Great Kenny Rogers

How do you know when it is time to give up on a dream?

For me the time has come.

My dream was to become a corporate level visual merchandiser for a major retailer. I have spent the last 8 years and an obscene amount of money chasing after this dream. Just when I thought I was making some progress the rug was pulled out from under me. The department store that I work for is getting rid of the visual merchandiser position. Within the next few weeks I will be forced to take a lower paying ($12 an hour) managerial position or have no job at all.

This was the final blow. I have spent the last 8 years applying for corporate level visual merchandising positions to no avail. The current state of the economy and the fact that most of these jobs are in New York is not helping. I didn't know what I was going to do, I thought about moving to New York to further pursue the career of my dreams but realized that New York is filled with qualified candidates. If they could not get these jobs, then what chance did I have.

I was driving home from work, crying and depressed when I heard Kenny Rogers sing a song I have heard a million times but never paid much attention to.

The Gambler.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

It helped me realize that sometimes you just have to stop, I don't want to spend the next 8 years chasing after a dream. I have decided to change my career.

While I don't relish the idea of going back to school, it is time to grow up and pursue a real career. I have decided to either become a nurse or a dietitian.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I have had many blogs over the years, blogs about crafting, blogs about finance, etc. In years past I have had the leisure time to maintain numerous blogs at once, but not anymore. Circumstances in my life have changed to the point that I decided to start a new all inclusive blog about the new adventure I am about to embark on.

This blog will cover topics that are paramount to my new life

Job Hunt

I hope this new blog will help someone else decide that if they are unhappy with something in their life find the courage to start over.