a pretty in the city gal on her way to debt freedom & healthy living a day at a time, who fills her time with yoga, music, books, baking and much much more. won't you join her?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Repeat to Self...

I am worth loving. I do not have to earn love. I am lovable because I exist.
Others reflect the love I have for myself.


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oh what a night!

It's Sydney Festival here in Sydney town, which means there are plenty of tents set up around the city, lots of lights, activity and people! So what a perfect time to take my Pittsburgh pals out through the city!

Friday's Big Day Out finished, the after party rolled around (yes, I met and shook hands with Tom, Billy & Zach, woohoo), and J and I got in a taxi to head back to the hotel... it was late, it was bedtime for the boys, but heck - when we drove past all the tents and lights-a-shining in Hyde Park I told the taxi driver to pull over and we wandered through the magical scenery of a summer night in a beautiful and busy city.

We stopped at a fountain in the park where loads of people were just sitting around and chatting - and suddenly people started clapping, as a girl pulled her shoes off and started dancing in the fountain! Then her partner came up and they started doing ballroom dancing in the water - it was surreal and beautiful, and one by one more and more people started getting up and getting wet!!! J and I looked at each other, nodded, and pulled our shoes and socks off and joined in!
What a truly magical night, and I have now found a beautiful friend with whom I've a lifelong bond now. What a story : )


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31 things to do before I turn 31

1. go to a dance class here
2. go for a bike ride in centennial park
3. have $1000 in savings
4. pay off my credit card
5. have a private yoga lesson
6. have a kiss DONE
7. cook a new dish
8. join the food co-op
9. volunteer
10. meet M
11. watch a local theatre production DONE
12. take more photos
13. go on a date
14. watch 3 classic movies
15. read a classic novel
16. participate in woyopracmo DONE
17. go on a yoga retreat
18. go to the farmers markets
19. travel interstate DONE
20. go to a kickboxing class or women's self defence class
21. go swingdancing
22. go to the movies at least 6 times
23. buy at least 4 new bras & nickers
24. do a chanting class
25. go to a meditation class
26. go on a yoga retreat
27. teach a yoga workshop
28. live with more creativity (do the artists way?)
29. run a 5k

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

crazy busy but FUN times : )

It's BDO time in Australia so obviously I've been a busy little bee to say the least. Music, promo, shows (RATM & Anti-Flag were insanely great!), radio interviews, tv stuff, band chats, lunches, dinners and lots of blackberry action. Phew!

Things are fab though and I'm loving life right now. Hooray! x

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Exciting News

Today I got my tax done (late, I know!!) and *hoorah* I am getting a refund! Which means I will be able to complete my Baby Step 1: have a $1000 emergency fund.

Of course - it's an 'expected' tax return, so once my accountant lodges it I could be in for a bit less, but it's an exciting feeling to be on the way to financial freedom.

Bless ya, Dave Ramsey : )

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Years Resolutions to make 08 my Best Year Yet

There was this cool little program that I was told about, and so I got stuck into it over the holidays and not only came up with some new years resolutions, but ways how to achieve them and timelines to make magic happen by. 2 weeks into the year/half way through the first month of this newness, I thought it was time to look at the list again.

Some things were good, but some things had slipped my mind.

One of them was more ME time.. including a 'me date', or as Julia Cameron calls them – artist dates. Same thing really – some time out of my schedule that I carve just for myself, to inspire creativity or more personally, happiness. I wanted to do simple stuff – perhaps do a home facial, full body moisturise, go to a park, have a cup of tea in a café while reading a book on my own, going to an art gallery… nothing too outrageous, but why then have I not done it yet? Well – tonight I am remedying that!

One of my bad habits is that I don't give myself enough 'me time' – I spend a lot of time on my own, but that's just chilling or reading or vegging out at home. So tonight I'm exciting my senses and catching up with a dear friend. We are heading to the gorgeous Old Fitzroy in Woolloomooloo (gee, it's been years since I've been there!) and we're checking out a show. Not even sure what the show is – but how much fun will it be to see some local actors strut their stuff and have a fun (free!) night out?

Really looking forward to it and then tomorrow is Friday – the end of the week has hit us! Hoorah! Work has been pretty intense this week – I'm in festival schedule hell, but slowly working through it. Good news too – I made it to yoga a few times this week, have been eating ok, not drinking (just can't when it's so busy at work) and feeling pretty dandy all round.

Hope you are all well x

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quick + Sharp

Feeling good because today was monthly pay day and I paid off $500+ in debt, plus am up to date with all my bills. I AM UP TO DATE WITH ALL MY BILLS! Argh! That is a nice feeling. And hey, by the end of the month I may not be up to date when the new bills come in... but I'm taking it one step at a time!

I also figure out that if I keep going at this rate (heck, have a shopping sabbatical year!!) I can be debt free in 2 years. Niiiice!

FYI WoYoPracMo is still kicking along nicely, and my thoughts from last night on reaching halfway?
We're almost half way through the month, and can I tell you just how much I am LOVING yoga again!? This is one new years resolution that I can see will go well beyond January.

I have done yoga for years and years, but since I started teaching I fell into that unfortunately common trap of not practicing as often as before. My personal practice fell by the wayside but now I'm back and happy and shiny and I remember just why I called my yoga biz Shiny Yoga.

And why is that? Easy - Yoga makes me smile, it makes me less stressed, it makes me calm and I cannot, simply cannot!, forget this wondeful feeling. Some people find their high through gyms, or extreme sports, or heck, alcohol or whatever. For me, without a doubt, my thrill in life is Yoga. Thanks Yogamum, for reminding me of this : )

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

So many thoughts, so little time

Ok - great end to a weekend that started out not so fab. Had a couple drinks Friday night after I got thinking too bloody much, plus I ate takeaway. So after 2 weeks (since new years day) of not having take away and not eating crap and not drinking, I felt SHOCKING on Saturday. Major headaches and bad bad mood. Makes me realise just how much food really is medicine - good and bad.

Sunday morning was woken up constantly by drunken neighbours coming home at 3, 4 and 5.. so my planned 8am drive down the coast turned out to be an 11am drive. Still, I got there. I got there even after a phone call from someone close which made me cry - but as soon as that happened I decided I need to react differently, and instead practiced some tonglin meditation. Yes, so hard, but it worked.

Really - WoYoPracMo is helping me be a LOT calmer and my new years resolutions about food and diet and respecting my own body are also making alot of things clear. This year, so far, has involved a lot of inner searching and inner thoughts, and I am learning a lot about myself.

Had a great and wonderful catch up with fam, loved my cousin's home... and realised how well everyone around me is doing - and how heavily in debt I am. It freaked me out.

1) I was always intelligent at school and wonder how come I'm earning so much less than everyone around me right now.
2) EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the catch up today either had babies, was in a long term relationship or had not been single for more than a month - or better yet, engaged... where as I have been single - well and truly - for over a year, and then 2 years before that one.
3) that's enough. Can't spill all my guts out here!

It was just a thought inducing afternoon.

Anyway, it made me more inspired than ever to get my butt outta debt, so here we go.

Off to eat a homemade dinner, stay tuned for more insightful and neurotic thoughts coming soon ;)

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Money makes the world go round...

I am soon going to get a loan to consolidate all of my debt. I normally just do things with the bank I'm with, rather than look around at best deals etc. But I'm trying to change my knowledge of $ this year and want to get a good deal (*gasp*). Yes, it's taken me 30 years to get to this point but better late than never, yeh?

So - here's where you come in. Does anyone have a suggestion of a good loan deal or a good bank to go with? Your advice is very welcome.

Thanks x

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

15k paid off in 12 months! Could you do it?

Yes kiddos, she of Singla Ma's Fabulous Financials actually did this. I figure out that by the time I'm 32 I WILL be debt free. Imagine that! That also includes some savings! Double imagine that! And to kick it all off, I'm currently participating in the Shopping Sabbatical I've mentioned before. What exactly is this?

Simply - it's about being a mindful consumer, stopping with the habits, and NOT BUYING IT!

I'm on day 3 of this and already have noticed some of those sneaky habits that I've gotten myself into. This pretty in the city gal can spend up B-I-G (even on a not so big income!) - hence the debt. "It's hot outside?" I'll buy a bottle of water! "I'm hungry?" Takeout is soooo much tastier than a boring old sandwich at home. "I can't afford a new pair of shoes or a much needed haircut?" No problemo, I'll just buy a book so it feels like I'm not so money deprived.

See where I'm coming from? It's a fine pickle I've gotten myself into - but that is all the history, and now it's time to create some fab, shiny and new habits and I feel my shopping sabbatical for the month of January is just the way to do it. I'm not being as strict as I could be on myself for this month, because my usual way is to go hell for leather and then throw it all in a week later as it's too hard to keep. So I'm being realistic and pulling in the reins, and hopefully these shopping sabbatical habits may keep with me for the rest of 08 and beyond, so I can be as fab as Single Ma : )

Shiny's Shopping Sabbatical Guidelines:
- 1 x takeaway per week max (on special occasions with friends), and cheap takeaway when I do
- Brownbag it at work, bring lunch to work, bring snacks to keep in desk, bring breakfast, no takeaway coffees!!!! bring teabags to work, one takeaway fresh juice per working week
- No alcohol: I dread to think how much I'll save due to this alone
- No trashy mags: actually, no mags at all unless they're claimable for work
- Shop only for essential groceries: there's no clothes buying this month, only essentials. This means just plain but healthy fruit and veg, and going through the cupboards to use up what I have; foodwise and product wise. I'm nearly out of shampoo so I'm trawling through the back of the cabinet for that bottle my mum gave me about a year ago. Same for toothpaste, deoderant, all that beauty stuff that you just keep. Also, no chocolate, soft drink, junkfood etc. It's plain, simple, healthy and lowkey food - ie. essentials!
- Pay minimum on all loans/credit cards/bills, and put all extra money from the month into savings and onto loan.

Further to the spending portion:
- Get tax done (last 3 years)
- Get medicare refund from dr visits
(there would be at least $500 here, so this will go into my aim for a $1000 savings fund)

I just googled 'shopping sabbatical' and there's so many links that you could be inspired for days. If you are struggling, let me know your tips, your downfalls, your successes. I'm sharing it all with you this year too! Embarrassing truth not to be repeated: I was updating my debt tally in the side bar the other day and realised that one year to the original update, I was at the same bloody total of debt (ok, $300 less). Terrible, Muriel! So enough with the excuses. I'm taking RESPONSIBILITY and action and I can't wait to see the numbers drop.


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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Blame, Responsibility and Growing Up

People can tell you things over and over, but when you're ready, that's when you'll really 'hear'. With the new year I've been thinking a lot and doing a lot of introspection, and have battled with some of my habits and thoughts. Yes, I have depression - but what can I do about it? I've got to stop using it (and other things!) as an excuse, and start where I am, and move forwards.

Just tonight I was reading this fab blog, The Art of Manifesting, and I was ready to 'hear' one post in particular. I just had to share it - enjoy.

Blame vs. Responsibility
We need to take responsibility for all in our life. It is not blame. Blame involves shame and negativity and responsibility indicates spiritual maturity. With responsibility, you can look at your situation and say, “Hmmm…I created this situation. What am I suppose to learn from it? What is the belief behind it? What is the fear? How can I feel love here?” With blame all we feel is judgment and shame. With judgment we further block the flow of energy.

xx shiny

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