Monday, June 25, 2007

New Blog

New Blog people


I missed you all and am glad to be back

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Who Needs Mistletoe??

As I got up for work the other day I stepped out onto the balcony to take in the sunrise. The crisp morning air chilled my bones as I took in a deep breath.

“Calm down,” I told myself. Just breathe.

The holidays.

No two other words can bring a feeling of such joy mixed with such dread at the same time.

On the upside – the clothing in the stores is amazing (though I am not buying any I promise), the lights are beautiful, the house smells of pumpkin pie, warm roasted nuts (yes I roast my own nuts haha), and beautiful Christmas music (sorry fellow Jews we are lacking on great holiday music.). There are festivities and parties galore – I have 5 in the next three weeks. People give presents and there is nothing like spending a chilly night cuddled up on the sofa with some hot cocoa and a warm body. The food is great and there seems to be some magic in the air. Did I mention presents? Yes, presents are a definite upside. I love presents (don’t worry, giving and receiving) and I love opening up these little surprises and seeing what people get when they think of you. Large or small – all great.

Then we have the downside. – The stress of finding good gifts, the stress of figuring out what to get the essentials (like your boss), what to wear to the actual parties, people fighting in line at the mall, people arguing over who is going to get your parking space and then blocking your way out while they duke it out (yes that happened to me), the stress of getting your entire odd ball family into one room just so you can listen to what a conversation might be when you get into said room the following: a republican (or a bunch), a couple liberals, one green party, one optimistic but overly worrisome Jewish mother, one pessimist, one stoned grandpa who can give a shit what anyone is saying, one great-grandmother who can’t hear what anyone is saying but pretends to anyway, and one 25 year old woman who must deal with such questions like, “what guy are you dating?”, “tell me every detail of your new job”, “ why don’t you marry _ _ _ “ (yes I still get that question after I have been friends with _ _ _ for years) and of course my favorite – the mix between “you look great!” and “oh you look way too skinny dahling, are you eating”?

With all that said, I really do love the holidays. It is my favorite time of year (starting November 6th of course), and I look forward to it once again this year. Now if I could just get all my gift shopping done, bake my most fabulous pumpkin pie, glazed almonds, chocolate rum pie, and gingerbread – I will be all set. I have my “Santa’s Baby” red jacket, my “Who needs Mistletoe?” panties, my shopping list, and my calendar full….

Now all I have to do is stop and breathe.

What are everyone’s plans for the holiday? Anything fun?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Money Lessons Learned

I have a confession to make.

I love shopping.

Yes that is me. A confessed shopaholic. I love nice clothes and I love nice shoes. I spend 20 dollars on a pair of panties that have enough fabric to cover most men’s pinky. I would gladly spend a few hundred on a handbag and eat protein shakes for a week. I buy expensive skincare. My jeans I buy based upon how they make my ass look rather than the price tag. I buy high thread count sheets. Not even the thread count you can buy at most stores – they have to be ordered. When I feel down I don’t go on a drinking binge or an eating binge – I run straight to the mall. It is my vice.

I am a retail stores best client. I am a sucker. I walk into the store and stupidly get the retail credit card because I get 20% off that day and fail to even think about the 22% APR.

Well – this got me into a lot of trouble.

Lately I have been learning a lot about effective money management and what being a credit card person actually does to ones net worth.

What it comes down to is this.

Credit cards are the demise of America (not my words.) But I believe part of this is true. With credit card debt you will always pay back way too much. So imagine you are buying a 100 dollar shirt – after you pay that off the card it ends up being like 150. And if you are only paying minimum payments or slightly more – well you are barely paying any principal.

Now – to give myself credit I have never had a late payment in almost 7 years.

I have been really good about no longer spending. I am sort of in a “time to get responsible about money” phase – hence the no shopping policy. But getting out of debt is a whole other story.

I sat down with a couple “money savvy” people. One is my uncle who has no debt – only one credit card and is very well off because he knows money. The other is my banker. Who, because he is a banker, obviously knows money said the same thing – debt can’t ruin someone.

So with a little help from my friends I have, with my newfound knowledge, come up with a repayment plan.

The first thing I did was transfer every balance to a low rate card. This I find out will cut my repayment time by half and reduce my interest by thousands of dollars.

I then canceled every single one of my cards. GONE. OUT THE WINDOW.

I will now be completely out of debt in 8 months.

However, my love for nice things will likely never go away. What can I say – it is just who I am.

I Rachel Heather am indulgent. And, I have come to find out this is not a fault – materialism is not a bad word – it just has to be managed.

So how am I going to do that?

First of all I am forcing myself to not buy anything not needed until I am out of debt. After that I was thinking maybe of some sort of budget but it has to be paid in cash.

Any ideas?

This is the dawn of a new age – the age of Rachel being financially responsible.

So to sum it all up – what I have learned.

Bad marks on your credit WILL come back to haunt you (I had two late payments when I was 18 that bring down my score  )

If you can’t pay cash for something – don’t buy it – unless it is a solid investment (car, home, etc.)

Keep only one low APR credit card and only put on there what you can pay off at the end of the month.

So what kinds of money management and money “rules” do you all follow?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Random Musings From Yours Truly

This past month has been a whirlwind of dreams coming true, happy synchronicities and new things happening so fast I sometimes forget to stop and eat or breathe. At this moment, I have a moment and I am kind of in awe of all that has happened. In just three short weeks my life has completely changed. Things that I finally realized I deserved are coming into fruition and

I have met the male version of me - monkey butt and all. Now that is scary.

I have stock options now - like a reel lif adault.

I have two new pairs of panties - One says "Who needs mistletoe" on the butt. Don't make fun of me.

My brother has got a new dog - bringing the pug count through the roof in my family. I am not going to get a pug.

My new boss has nicknamed me, "Thread Count."

People walk around the office here with beer in their hands.

I have my own private banker.

First freelance writing job coming up :)

A certain someone has also nicknamed me "PHD in Manipulation." - whatEVER.

Rock n Republic Jeans are my new favorite jeans

I did something so crazy - everyone that knows me is going to gasp, freak out, and might collapse. I donated two giant containers of clothing to charity. It was tough. I cried at some items - but so worth it.

My body is looking better than ever. I have started taking some new sports just to mix it up a bit. Kickboxing is one of them. I am also going to be taking Pilates and of course my running. (Told you I was busy!)

I have a brand new luxury apartment.

I actually make money now!

I am pretty much on the go from 5:00 AM till bedtime - hence my lack of updates. Things are going to settle down soon, or at least come to a more even keel schedule.

People are starting to see things in me that I never saw before - like actual talent and brains and the x-factor that is needed to actually bring in something unique. In some ways it is almost weird but in others I feel as though - ok finally! I am slowly but surley starting to believe that I really do have that X-Factor - not just when it comes to charm but with brains as well.

After Thanksgiving = CHRISTMAS MUSIC TIME@!!!!!

Woooooo Hoooooo!!!

We pick up our tree in a week - it is a real one :) And you have no idea how good my pies are. I am going to make pumpkin, apple, chocolate rum, plus gingerbread, sugar cookies...oh you name it I am making it!

I love giving presents this time of year. I put a lot of thought into it as well, I am now in the planning stages but I have gotten a lot done.

I did not go to a single store on black Friday. For that alone - I deserve a medal. It was so freaking hard but thankfully I had good support for those moments of weakness where I was tempted to just drive to the store and buying something I don't need just because it is half off.

Remember my boat/new York/ slash weird dream. It is sort of coming true. Well starting to.

How's that for a busy month!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

These Are The Days...

That Rachel gets no sleep.

That Rachel hasn't parked her monkey butt down to write :(

That good new things have happened.

Don't worry, I will have some time to update tomorrow.

Then I should be back on a more regular schedule. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lesson Number Two

Philosophy, and therefore psychology, has two theories. We have all heard the nature vs. nurture argument. From a philosophers point of view some would say we are born Tabula Rasa and then learn our traits as products of our environment. Tabula Rasa means clean slate for those of you that have not read Aristotle or Aquinas. Go read it if you haven’t!

If someone told you right now that you could have Tabula Rasa and wipe your entire slate clean and then create the life of your choosing – what would you choose?

Now really think about this one. Most of us are programmed to choose based upon what we “should” want or what we “think we can get.”

The ego is a tricky thing. I like to call the ego a well-meaning but idiotic child. It is always there, in and each and every one of us designed to make life a learning experience.

If we had no ego we would all be in a state of Nirvana – everlasting joy and peace. However, we have this ego and it is designed to give us a purpose.

Imagine playing a baseball game in which someone told you before each game that you were going to win. You would start to lose the joy for the game right? Isn’t the triumph in winning, knowing that it is a risk and you might lose?

Triumph over ego and you win everything.

So here we have this idea that if you can get to nothing, Tabula Rasa, then you can have everything. But your ego wants to stop you.

The ego is what makes us never change and grow because where we are, even if painful, is comfortable. It is safe. Safety is the ego’s friend where risk makes the ego nervous because it can lose.

The ego makes us settle for less. It is easier.

The ego makes us give up on what we want.

The ego makes us hurt others.

The ego makes us lose hope.

The ego makes us insecure.

The ego makes us arrogant.

The ego makes us stay in a state of denial, lying to others and ourselves.

In short – the ego protects us from pain..but keeps us from true happiness.

But what if someone came to you and told you that there is a way to get to “nothing,” triumph over your ego, create the life you want to live and have a freaking fantabulous time while you are here…

If someone told you that – then how would you choose your life? Picture it in your head. Picture exactly what you want. Don’t hold back because you think you can’t have it, or can see no plausible way to get it.

So…the only question you need to ask yourselves is this:

If you take away your ego and knew for sure you could get it – what do you really really realty want?

I am curious to know but in an effort to make us all as honest as possible, please comment anonymously.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And The Award for BEST GIFT EVER Goes To....

The Best Sheets Ever!!!

"Honey, what would you like to do tonight"?

"Well, geee...I dunno - Row B, Column 3 sounds fun."

If you please turn your attention to - the instruction manual in my hand. Look closer. Closer. Yeah - thats what you think it is.

This gift was given to me by my Aunt who threw me a really fun party with my friends.

Here are some highlights taken with my brand new digital camera : )

Me and Sammy - he actually came to the bars with us

Me and my uncle - by the way, the hat was not my idea

Me and my fantabulous birthday cake - it was handmade by a friend of mine :)

Me and Blair - the fantabulous cakemaker :)

my mom is one of those weird moms that does this

more pictures to come - and more festivities

P.S - I am going to get into a series of articles on here as kind of an experiment/instruction series that delves into a few things that blend some universal laws, physics and metaphysics, and such. The problem is I have so much information and so many different views on the subject matter that I am not yet sure how to articulate it to where it would make sense to the "average Joe." So if you have any advice on how to explain things in that way I would love any my readers could give.