::The Myrabev Life::

::The Myrabev Life::: August 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Week 39: Personal Confessions ~ Debt is No small matter Part 3

Hi there and welcome to another personal confessions and this week (39) I decided to update you on how my "debt is no small matter" is going. In my last update last month I talked about some of the steps I am taking to ensure I am debt free by December of 2014 - this is a new personal goal I set last month but as you know life does love throwing curve balls and that's ok. If you want to read more about my last update and what steps I took to help me on this journey then click HERE. When I first started this series I talked about how I got into debt and how I was slowly crawling out. It has not been easy changing bad habits but it has not been particularly hard as well because I am determined and I have a goal in mind. I told you about my new rule in the first series "if I don't have it I don't spend it that's my new rule no more pay later high purchase kinda situation because I am done." I have pretty much lived by this rule since I made the conscious decision to be debt free, is it easy yes and no because temptations are so many and good lord are there temptations many but having a strong family and will power behind me I am forging ahead. If you want to read more about how I got into tempt and my crawling out of it then click HERE.

So coming back to today, where am I and how am I doing? As am sure most bloggers know (except for the super organized) when I normally set my goals I hardly look back at them until maybe a week before I am due to set new ones. When I am setting goals I think I will check constantly to ensure I am on track but usually that's not the case, but, I do love when I remember to check my goals and found I have done them (some or all) I feel more happy because it was not a task that needed remembering it's something part and parcel of my life that didn't get pushed aside. I realized with my target to be debt free by December 2013 is not looking overly promising - because I had decided to make an impromptu trip, which is costing an arm and a leg but its totally worth it.

Where am I?
When I started this life changing goal I made a table using the different amazing excel budget templates around to create my budget for 2014. I created a table which contains:
  • Who I owed (agency and/or company)
  • Balance (original and current)
  • Contact details and reference numbers
  • Account (I have two accounts so needed to know which account paid what bill)
  • Payment date and payment plan (agreed amount).
This table has been my constant companion and I update it religiously every month-end and its color coded. Red = not paid/missed (either my fault or theirs), Green = paid and Grey = account closed or frozen. Every time I pay off an account I grey it out and usually delete the account but other times I wait a few weeks, call the company/agency again and ensure its definitely paid off. I also have another tab on my excel spreadsheet, this is for my mobiles, rent and bloggie payments of sorts. Having this table has helped me keep my sanity because I have all the information for all my accounts in one place and I am able to see how I a progressing and what accounts I can close out before intended due date.

How am I doing?
I just finished updating my table and I am doing good, due to the impromptu journey next month everything will be tight but not too dead tight. I am happy to say I have cleared 75% of my debt and I can not wait to clear the remainder 25% in at a maximum 6 months time. As I stated earlier my December goal is still possible but life has given something much more worth while for the mean time so I am ok postponing the deadline.

This is where I am and how I am doing so far, how is your debt-free journey going so far? What changes have you made lately to help support your finance setting?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quarter Reflection

As we approach the final leg of quarter 3 (Q3) I thought I reflect on this ending quarter. So much had happened and yet I feel that I have little to show for it apart from a bad hair day (e' day) and pieces of my (scattered) and rarely seen self respect. When July started I had made a decision to start making goals which I mostly achieved. I had made decisions in other parts of my life too but disappointed to say I didn't stick to them. The decisions I didn't fulfil is what took away all the self respect I thought I harboured. People have come into my life, taken a p*** and at the same time take my good nature and good will for granted and took me for a fool. I have been brought up to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, respect them and care for them like family. But it looks like not everyone was raised that way just me and my siblings and probably half the world. I am sick and tired of being "ok" with the lies, hurt, disappointment and lack of trust. I don't like to lie or appreciate being lied to because I think its wrong and despicable.
Going back to reflecting....

 July is my birth month and my blogaversary month, I love having these two special things to celebrate. I looked back at my birthday last year and my first day blogging, last year was so special but this year was even more so. Remember my birthday wishlist where I talked about wanting to go to Paris for my birthday weekend? well that didn't happen because I got to spend all day shopping and running around with my nephew, my parents and siblings. I could not have asked for more and this trumps Paris anytime. My blogaversary was a bit calmer and collected, I was fortunate enough to pair up with some lovely bloggers who supported me and I am so grateful. After my birthday and blogaversary I started to feel a bit overwhelmed with everything and blogging slowly started to take a back seat.

When August came along I was far into this "Don't feel like blogging" phase that to even get a post up was more struggle than I had the courage. I was also very scared at this point that maybe I am losing my passion and love for blogging. It is one thing to have writer's block or needing some space from the blogging world but its another to start feeling like blogging is a chore and no long fun and a hobby. I felt all these things but as you can see it is yet to shut me down completely from blogging. Reflecting on this month of august has been hard because so many "not so nice" things have happened but I will keep my chin up and walk the walk proudly. Sometimes I feel like questioning the people who seem to think I am stronger than I look/feel/know, because sometimes I just wanna be weak just for a moment.

What do I want to see happen in September and what do I want to talk about in my next quarter reflection? I have so many questions, so many ideas, so many plans but the one thing I want first and foremost is an internal peace. I just want the voices to quite down a moment and let me just be me and not think of how many people I need to help, should do things for, am expected to do/be etc. I don't want to have to wear the face so no one sees the hurt, the tiredness or the black under eyes from lack of sleep. I want peace for me, for my family, for my friends and for the world.

I apologies for the sad post but my soul felt like pouring it out, I have never been one to keep it bottled up for too long it suffocates me.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Currently

Hi there! It's been a while since I wrote a "currently" post and I thought there is no better time than the present. So here goes nothing.

Reading: 'Vegetarian Weight loss' & 'Vegetarian (15) recipes' by Jonathan Vine, you might remember I reviewed a book by Jonathan "The green smoothie". I am really enjoying my book reads, every week I read a new book and been luck and very honored to be asked by authors to read and review their work so it's been great plus before this month ends I would have read/reviewed five books as I said I would in my goals for August.

Writing: I am working on a few posts for my main blog "AJD" at present I am just trying to get the August love me beauty box post as well as my Degustabox (July box) review out so I can focus on my reading again.

Listening: don't judge me but lately I have been listening to Loyal by CB, R.kelly's greatest hits and  Robin Thicke has been making an appearance too. Though not really proving my point with Loyal by Breezy I usually listen to songs that reflect my mood. Take Robin Thicke as an example, I love the song "The good life" because I can relate and I love "Take it easy" because I can dance to it.

Thinking: why I can't seem to shake the fatigue that gripped me since June but I am not one to dwell on sad things. 

Smelling: I want to say some lovely scent that comes to mind but honestly with this blocked nose I am smelling nothing. 

Wishing: For so many things but it's best to live in the present and not to lose oneself wishing for things that might not even happen. It's best to go out and do something about it.

Hoping: The trains don't cancelled again, as much as I love working from home when I can I prefer the office environment with my colleagues.

Wearing: Long heavy cardigan and jog bottoms in bed getting ready for bed.

Watching: Just finished re-watching mission impossible II now watching "The Grey

That's all for my 'currently's post', what are you 'currently'?

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

{Book Review} Vegetarian Weight-loss

When I was growing up back in Zambia I always thought I could never be a vegetarian (am not), the NEVER part came from years of misinformation about vegetarianism. But looking back at my childhood I probably practiced vegetarianism somewhat more then and obviously this was not by choice but a necessity (a story for another day). I remember it too well, my mother with her powers of awesomeness tried to make sure her kids loved vegetables etc. but obviously at times that worked with the good bribery or the African parent stare or the "do you want me to tell your father?" threat. Many people (me especially) run for the hills when "being a vegetarian" becomes a topic of discussion but as Jonathan Vine explains; vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, one were you have made a conscious decision to feed your body the best - please do not misquote me, just because you not a vegetarian does not imply you only feed your body the worst. Most people know I have been trying to lose some weight, "apparently" for my height my ideal weight is 65kg but at the moment I am 72kg and I personally been feeling like I could do with losing at least 5kg. So to help me along this journey I have decided to go the vegetarian way, I am not saying I will become a vegetarian just that I will be using some of their discipline and diet to help me achieve this healthily. The book have read to help me on this journey is called "Vegetarian weight loss".

The book starts off talking about the now trend happening across the world and that is "most people are choosing vegetarian lifestyles to help lose weight, most are going as far as cutting out red meat to make it easy for the digestive system". What I enjoyed the most when I started reading this book is the fact that Jonathan (the author) goes as far as explaining the different types of vegetarians out there. Have you ever heard of "Fruitarian - someone who avoids all animal products and only eats raw foods?" I honestly had never heard of a Fruitarian before but I learned what type of vegetarianism my father practices which is called "Semi - he eats fish (hardly any chicken) but he never eats red meat" I never thought my father's lifestyle choice is a vegetarian one and "technically his not vegetarian".
As I mentioned earlier my ignorance has contributed to my lack of interest in vegetarianism growing up because if you had asked me what's the difference between a Vegan and a Vegetarian I would never have guessed. This book teaches you what foods you should eat and which you should avoid. I have always wondered how vegetarians get their protein into their diet and I will confess this book did really help me understand other my good friend wikipedia would have done the trip (helped me through uni). I have chosen to follow the vegetarian weight loss because of the discipline that they have, what most people who have not had the pleasure to read Jonathan's books don't know is the fact that he wasn't raised a vegetarian but he made a conscious decision and lifestyle and in his books he talks about what it takes and how you can become a vegetarian if you so wish or due to health reasons you have to be "vegetarian".

This book does not only teach you the fore mentioned but has several recipe ideas to choose from and I love the recipes and why I would recommend to all my family, friends and readers is if you like me most of these recipes you do on a daily basis and you will probably just need to add one more ingredient or substitute an ingredient. They are so easy to make and they do not take long, my favourites so far are: Raspberry Almond oatmeal, Banana walnut Bread and Cranberry & Lemon muffins: am sure these ingredients are either in your house already or not too hard to get.

B.T.W  - did i mention that this book as pictures, or know the ones we love to compare to once you follow the recipe and are very proud of your accomplishment but still want to measure up to the book. yes those are in.

As always thanks for reading, are you trying to lose weight? Are you a vegetarian? Born or lifestyle choice?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

**Linking up with Friday Reads book clubs**

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

{Book Review} Green Smoothies: The weight loss & detox secret

"Choosing to eat healthier is a lifestyle choice. It involves a commitment to life better lived, beginning with the conscious decision to fuel the human body with foods that it was created to eat".

After reading the words above I was glued to this book because like most people as soon as you mention green smoothies they make a face or think yuck that bitter stuff but actually it's not all bitter. Most of you know I recently (like 3 months ago) got me a little blender so I can be making me some juices as I don't usually eat breakfast and as the author mentioned in this book "our excuses to ourselves for not choosing a healthier lifestyle is that we do not have the time, the money or the energy needed to eat healthier" so I wanted to make that I made the change and removed that excuse I harboured. 

The book starts off with introducing what a green smoothie is, talks healthy benefits, healthier weight loss program plus gives the reader some tips. But it does not end there, there is a gazillion recipes which helps you on your journey as you transition to this healthier lifestyle. My favourite smoothie is "oatmeal kale smoothie", I know from the name doesn't really give you much hope but when you look at the ingredients you will smile: oats, almond milk, kale leaves, ice cubes, banana and cocoa powder. This smoothie is the bomb dot com. Not only does it taste good the author made it his business to list how much punch the smoothie carrys. For example the oatmeal kale smoothie contains: 336 calories, 29g fat, 5.1g protein and 16.5g carbohydrates.

My overall review of this book is very positive, I love that the book is easy to read and navigate and gives you just enough information to satisfy the curious. My only negative is that I didn't see any pictures which I was hoping to find looking at the cover.

Biography of the Author

My name is Jonathan Vine, and I was caught up in the vegetarian lifestyle a few years back. I have to say that giving up on meat did not struck me in a single moment, nor it was a swift decision, but an inner journey that evolved within a few months. Eventually I took a final decision that the suffering of animals is my grief and my motivation.
I was always enthusiastic about cooking. For me this is absolutely one of the greatest joys life can offer. With my vegetarian cooking style, I never feel deprived of what I eat, but rather satisfied and exhilarated with each bite.
My goal is to publish books that will empower readers to improve their health and well-being through simple everyday ingredients and low fat recipes that make eating affordable, realistic and delicious.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Personal Confessions ~ Count your blessings

21/11/2014 Graduation 

So July has gone and ended just like that and August has not wasted any time in starting and doing it's thing. Where is 2014 rushing to because I can't seem to catch a breath, take the month in and enjoy it before I say yes this has been some month. I seem to be having the knowledge that yes a new month has started but hardly the time to enjoy it like before but that's ok because even with me moaning my loses I have so many blessings that it's weird to think about.

I decided to write this post to remind myself not to get caught up in what's not happening or what has not happened or what I do not have or can't have but to appreciate what it is that I do have and have been blessed to have all this time. As a famous quote reads "it's the little things that matter and count the most", so with that spirit today I will share with you the little things that count the most for me.

Air we breath: we take it for granted and never really think about it we too busy thinking about what we do not have or thinking about something superficial. Think of it this way, whilst you complaining about something but still enjoying the free air to breath someone just too their last breath. I do not mean to or intend to sound crippy but has to be said.

Waking up: again following on my point above, so many went to bed last night but not everyone woke up. I thank The Lord every day and count my blessings each morning and night.

Friends: in this day and age it seems "real" friends are few and very rare, how many friends would you say would drop anything and everything to be there at your side? Of those their at your side how many are actually there because they want to not because they have been made to or it's their duty. It's so hard these days so when you meet and makes those good friend keep up and make sure you do as you would like them to do unto you.

Family: I have seen  so many people wish for just one more day to be with their family, and please note when I say family I do not necessary mean blood I mean people who are their for you, love you, praise you and still put you in your place when being silly etc. I am blessed with such an amazing family, back home we used to live in extended family and that was truly the best. Here in the uk it's just my parents , siblings and our new family additions but that's not all we have church friends and fellow country men.

Now crossing over to the blogging world, I have to count my blessings because as bloggers we know it's a tough community out their but mostly we are united and look out for one another. Last week I was chatting with a friend when she started asking me about blogging and I remember explaining to her that when I started I thought it was a case of write a post, publish and sit back relax and let the readers find you. After almost two months blogging and less comments that my fingers and toes combined I felt dejected because I was thinking were are all the people that I see comment on other blogs etc. obviously I hadn't learnt the powers of social media networking, actually reading and commenting on other bloggers posts, signing up to affiliates, Facebook pages, joining twitter groups, using hashtags all this good stuff.  I have been very fortunate in my blogging journey so far, God forbid but I am yet and I hope never come across mean people who hate to see you up and prefer you down. I have heard stories of bloggers being bullied, being looked down on and people thinking all we do is just write a post hit publish and let the internet do it's job. My friend was surprised when I told her what I do to ensure readers find my blogger, actually take the time to comment or send me e-mails etc. she was even more surprised when I explained what we do when we want a company to sponsor the blog, posts etc. her conclusion was it's a full time job all on it's own and really it is. These are some of my personal and blogging blessings, if I was to list them all done we would be here till kingdom come.

What things are you grateful for? When was the last time you sat down and counted your blessings?


Saturday, August 02, 2014

{Book Review} Knowing Vera

Question: what would you do if your parent committed suicide in front of your very eyes?
Question: what would you do if you found out the man you love is the son to the woman your father "supposedly killed"?
Question: what would you do if someone started sending you messages claiming to be your dead father 20 years after he committed suicide before your eyes?
Question: what would you do if everything you thought you knew went up in smoke?

These are some of the questions Vera, the lead female character had to live through?

Author Description
Vera Custodio has never fallen in love, though she has strong feelings for her friend and sometimes lover, Zach Spencer. Long-forgotten memories resurface when Vera discovers Zach’s mother was the woman her father supposedly murdered many years ago.
After losing his leg, former triathlete Zach Spencer reevaluates his life—and realizes he’s falling in love with Vera. After she ends their relationship, Zach is determined to prove his love and follows her to Australia in search of the killer.
Caught between a web of family secrets and a deranged adversary, Vera and Zach must depend on each other for survival. Love blossoms, but the truth explodes everything Vera knows about herself. Will she close her heart forever or risk it all for a shot at happily-ever-after?

The book starts off by giving you an inside look into the emotional struggles of the female lead character Vera. Vera is Filipino and is friend's "with benefits" with Zachary Spencer "a walking advertisement for heartbreak rehab clinic". After Zach lost his leg trying to rescue maryanne (Zach and Vera's friend) he went down the dumps (depressed) Vera was there for him, sung to him and gave him hope and help him choose life instead of dieing like he first wanted. The writer shows how Vera hates commitments and how he avoids them like a plague where as Zach once upon a time a player now wants to just love his one woman Vera. 

As the author describes the book (above) Vera finds out that the woman her father supposedly killed is Zach's mother. After learning about her father who she thought was dead, being kidnapped, finding out her uncle is actually her dad and her supposed dad is actually her uncle. She lost her two young brother (both died), when she finds her dad she finds she has more brothers (twins). She goes through a lot, even a point of thinking that since her father faked his death he was protecting someone and she thinks she killed Zach's mum. 

The book has so many twists and turns it will have you on the edge because just when you think you know what's gonna happen or who done it but nope you get surprised and shocked. I loved reading this book I can't tell you how excited I was because even though I am good at predicting the ending of most books this book had me second guesting myself. It is beautifully written and great use of grammar and the English language. 

The author gives you an authentic view of the cities/countries  the book is based on and it's so easy to follow and easy on the eyes. I can't recommend this book enough it was such an amazing read and I enjoyed every word. As you know I like to be able to relate someway in the book of better yet when reading feel like the lead character themselves as I like to engross myself into the book and I was not disappointed. You should really check this book out. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Labels: ,