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A new chapter

I’m just gonna get down to it…the bad news is that I lost my job 😦 The company I work for is doing some global changes and that implies that about 3,000 people lost their jobs. Sad news considering that we are not in the best economy and the job market is pretty slim. I had been preparing for this for quite some time as I was pretty sure I would be one of the unlucky ones. But as they say, “when one door closes a window opens” well that’s exactly how I’m looking at this new situation. This is the perfect opportunity for me to prepare for baby girl, clean out my house, study and well…rest.

For the good news, this is the opportunity I wanted, some free time to catch up on everything that I had “planned” to do. First off, reorganizing the house: there are so many things that we don’t use and don’t need that should get outta here. There’s a company that collects everything and anything that you don’t want and they recycle them, so a BIG spring cleaning is in order [but a room at a time, I am pregnant after all]. Next up is catching up on my studies, and while they are not falling apart I could do better, so this is perfect time to do so. 

Next project: baby’s room;  painting, cleaning, organizing and bringing in the furniture. All I have left before her arrival is 3 months! Better get moving.And last, work on my writing. I’ve wanted to write for the longest time but I couldn’t get down to it, so I’m very exited to begin again.

Side projects will be some serious frugal living and planning because for the time being I will be a housewife…a new chapter in my life. [Let’s see how it goes]

PS. I get to experiment in the kitchen again! Recipes coming soon [and some pictures too] 

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It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel

As I mentioned in my “coming back” post, I got transferred at work to the marketing department. Let me point out that I did not ask for this transfer, and while I’m grateful that they didn’t fire me when my previous position got closed, I have to say that I enjoy nothing about this new task.

Every day I wake up without purpose, and I feel defeated.

As I told you before I am pregnant [and super excited about it] and it makes it harder to search for a new job right now. So I’m resigned to work in a department that I don’t like, doing work that I’ve never been interested in and I’m finding it hard to stay motivated and do my best.

There is no recognition whatsoever, there is no thank you and even worse, there was no salary raise. I’m still in minimum wage, working sometimes 12 hours a day in something that I don’t even enjoy. At least when I was a producer in the TV show I had fun, here it’s just bland and uneventful.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about leaving and finding work that I truly enjoy, or even something that I know how to do, but I’m still here.

Now I know this may seem all defeatists, but I have to let it out some way before I go nuts. So I’ve resorted to every day comfort myself in the fact that I am graduating soon [May 2015 J] and that I have to stick it out for 6 more months and that’s it [I’m going on maternity leave and plan to look for a job then], but I gotta tell ya, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So I make a list of the things that I appreciate about my job:

  1. I get paid

That’s pretty much it. With the economy as it is and the job market so grim, it’s a blessing to have a regular source of income. But every now and then I’d like to be doing something more fulfilling than merely uploading data to a database. As everything, these times will pass and good things will come along, but those moments of hopelessness do come along and so we blow off steam in order to deal with it all because if we didn’t we’d all be crazy.

 PS, for your enjoyment [and my sanity] here’s a funny pic

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And just so I realize that the universe has a weird way of sending us what we need just when we need it, here’s and article I read just when I finished this post: http://www.fastcompany.com/3025079/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-to-overcome-self-doubt-and-a-lack-of-motivation

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things anew

Hi everyone! I know I’ve been on a very looooong hiatus and changes are happening. An update-post is coming but I wanted to tell you that I [finally] have my own domain! Go to dolacotidiana.com for new posts soon!

Laters

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I have a plan. A get-out-of-debt plan

For a few years now I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show and learning about the ins-and-outs of personal finances. Finally I’m learning to control my expenses and have started saving for our future. You see the mr. and I want to have a house and children but without savings or a plan we won’t be able to. If we had kids right now we couldn’t afford to pay even the basic things we have to every month. Not to mention the vacations we would like to have, or the things we would like to buy because in reality we are broke. That’s why I’m glad to say we’re living on a budget and planning for the future.

I was the kind of girl who thought that I could charge anything I could to my credit cards as long as I make the minimum payments every month. I was too young when I applied for my first credit card [18 to be exact], it was one of those store credit cards that I had approved because even though I hadn’t really built my credit, I had a student loan. And so it began, it was just that “little” store credit card at first [the max was $200 I think] and then before you knew it [and pressed on by my old roommate] I had 4 credit cards at 20 without a “real” job. Sure I could pay the minimum on each with the work-study I had in college, and with my roommate pressing on I pushed the matter out of my mind and kept on charging. At 20 I was already $5,000 in debt with only a part-time job. So I did a really dumb move [suggested of course by a not-financially-savvy co-worker] I got a loan. I was supposed to pay off and cancel all my credit cards [very bad move] so would have only one payment. The problem? I only closed 2 of the 4 credit cards and ended up with a loan and credit card debt.

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I totally need this! Not really
{via Google images}

So these things keept creeping and creeping, soon I wasn’t able to pay the minimum and when I finally got a full-time job I spent every dime I made instead of paying off debts. Yes I was very stupid, but who isn’t at that age? I blame the media and advertisers because they created this “need” for things that you only really “want”. Of course most of the miss-education comes from our parents and although my dad is very frugal my mother isn’t so I grew up with different views. While my dad is of the philosophy “save for a rainy day” my mother is more like “live like there’s no tomorrow” and at that time it was my mother’s way of thinking that convinced me.

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just keep spending, just keep spending…
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When we’re young we don’t want responsibility, we take for granted many things [like being debt-free] and we crave material things. That’s what happened to me. I was 21 with $7,000 in debt,  a full-time job that paid minimum wage and a “need” to buy the latest phone, or some more clothes, or go on a vacation even when I was at risk of losing my job [that actually happened, I went to New York and came back to un-employment]. Why you ask? Because I was stupid. I let all these debts become more than I could handle, I ignored those collection calls and barely paid the minimum on the cards.

All those years of bad financial decisions caught up to me. Now more than ever I need good credit and I don’t have it on account [no pun intended ;)] of all the wrongs I did with my debt. But this all has a silver lining,  I found a way to reshape my life without having to pay hundreds of dollars [for more info click here] and re-program all those ideas I had about money. Now I try my best to keep a budget, I don’t buy on impulse and only get the things we need. We are saving for the future and we are getting out of debt. Now I’m not saying it’s been easy, it’s taken us about a year to get to where we are now and it’s so easy to get misguided if you’re not careful. Take this weekend for instance, in my written budget I had $50 assigned to buy the first half of the father’s day presents. I went to the mall with one store in mind [a budget-friendly department store] and I spent a total of $47.59. Great right? I felt completely at ease because all the important stuff had been paid, the grocery had been done and I got the gifts for less than what I budgeted. It was a great accomplishment, but the walk from my car to the store at the other end of the mall was filled with temptation. I passed stores with cute merchandise and outstanding displays. I saw many stores that had sales on everything [like cute tops for only $5.99], things I “needed” just jumped off the display and into my mind and if I wasn’t careful I would give in. But I didn’t, I kept my plan and walked out of the mall with only the things that were planned. To say that I felt empowered is an understatement, especially for a compulsive buyer like me, and it was the best feeling in the world.

What I’m trying to say is that living frugally may be hard but in the end the rewards are so worth it. To live with the liberty of getting what you want instead of only what you “need” because you don’t owe anything is the greatest feeling and I can’t wait till we get there. Meanwhile I will keep working on fixing my credit [we want a house someday] and paying off any debts so one day I can finally say I’M DEBT FREE!!!!!

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100th

Remember this post? I think I took #4 too seriously [get away from the computer] and I ended up not posting for almost a month! As Al Green would say “I know, I know, I know” [for about 26 times more], I have not been a good blogger. To my defense I was very busy at work and school and I just wanted to “veg out” whenever I could, and that meant hours and hours in front of the TV. So a recap of the coming and goings of this month:

-this is my 100th post ya’ll!

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celebrate good times

-We had our first wedding anniversary 🙂 . The mr. and I celebrated it for 2 weekends, the first weekend we went out for drinks on Saturday [like you do when you’re dating] and on Sunday to a fancy dinner. The next weekend went to a remote cabin right next to El Yunque [that’s Puerto Rico’s Natural Reserve and largest rainforest] and stayed for 3 days in complete bliss. The room had no TV, the whole place was solar powered and the rooms had no outlets so you had to go downstairs and charge your phones. The guests all mingled and played board games while the owner cooked breakfast or dinner and we waited for our phones to charge. After the sun went down the moon was looking spectacular and huge, you could really see the stars and hear the peaceful sounds that come with the night. We had a great time.

First weekend

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turned the mr.’s anniversay gift to me into a pretty center piece
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and we munched on 1-year old cake. See the toppers? custom made for us 🙂 mine even has the same wedding dress design

Second weekend

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the road up the cabin
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the view half-way
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rustic room
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view from our balcony

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furry friends [I think Amber from The usual Bliss would like Max]
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we got up at 4:30am to see the sunrise
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early sunbathing

On Sunday we had to pick up Maggie from my mother-in-law’s house [she was baby-sitting] and we took this little lady to the beach!

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she was happy
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waiting on the mr. while he got mommy a sweet coconut
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my favorite picture, she looks like she’s laughing

-I’m obsessed with “New Girl”! I recently got HULU and got hooked on so many series, but my favorite right now is “New Girl” [and korean soap operas but that’s a whole ‘nother story]. I just love the comedic timing of all the actors, the situations they get into and the romance that’s started between Nick and Jess. I’ve read people say it’s the “Friends” of this generation and I think maybe. My all time favorite sitcom is  “Friends” and what I loved most about the show was its ability to take any situation and put it in an episode. I can’t say how many times I’ve been somewhere when I say “this happened in an episode of Friends…” In that sense I think “New girl” and “Friends” are somewhat similar, but they are different shows from different times and to compare one to the other is not really fair. They are good scripted sitcoms that bring joy to whoever watches and I think that’s what’s most important in the end, to escape, laugh and have a good time with these lovable characters. What shows are you watching right now? What’s got you hooked? I’d love to hear some suggestions.

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This is a post from one of my favorite blogs. The type of rape culture we live in and what it means for society. Give it a read and pass it along, we need to get this message across.

Views from the Couch

I remember the cop, visibly annoyed with being burdened with the task of taking my statement, leading me into the tiny room and I remember the panic bubbling up when he shut the door behind him. I think he typed 5.5 words a minute. I told him the whole story. It seemed like we were in there for hours. Maybe because he took that long to type or maybe because the designers of that tiny room, with the door closed, made no allowance for personal space. It didn’t help that he was so obviously agitated with being assigned the duty of taking dictation from me. At 20 years old, the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting in that shrinking room giving some strange man a detailed, minute by minute, account of the night that started out at a bar with friends and ended with two of those…

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