a blog about cents, in every form & measure

Monday, December 20, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 11

The Threadless Book

Prompt: Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

This is a scary one for me, and a deeply personal prompt. I will write this post for my eyes only, and just publish the acknowledgement that I hope for the strength to confront the things I haven't in the past. No excuses - drama be gone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 10


Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

Next year I want to make my house a home! I absolutely hate home improvement, I don't like cleaning very much, and I definitely don't like being cooped up inside. However, I want to try to let go of some of my negativity regarding housekeeping and work with my husband (who, despite his schedule, does the best he can around the house..and I appreciate it...now babe, get your crap off the floor!) to make our apartment a home! I tried to do that this year, but we had to do some big projects around the house & in our lives, which prevented me/us from achieving this goal! I also am very much a 'this is mine' and 'that is yours' type person, and pretty much refuse to touch his papers, garbage & such. I'd like to come up with a system to effectively fuse our separate belongings and then create & maintain a system for keeping our place organized. I grew up in an amazingly well-decorated, maintained home & I'd like to live in one now (haha). It just feels more civilized! So here's to that!

What about you? Do you dislike home-related organization/cleaning as much as I do? What do you do to make it more "fun" or enjoyable?

Friday, December 17, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 9

The Butcher and the Vegetarian

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

This year, I learned that I am resilient. When given a challenge, I confront it head on, with little or no hesitation. I jump right in with my to-do lists, and achieve my goals. Over the course of this eighteen months, I began & and graduated from graduate school, became engaged, got married, got the internship I had so badly wanted, and had a job offer from the same company. I have been blessed beyond measure during a time that was otherwise extermely challenging. I had many opportunities to wallow in depression and feel generally as though I wasn't going anywhere, but I was able to literally pull myself up and move forward with my life despite the swirl of darkness that could have engulfed me.

That being said, I was extremely hard on myself while achieving my goals, always questioning whether I had truly done my best. I've always been my own worst enemy, and almost purposely stress myself out so that I can perform at the levels which allow my to succed. I've realized that life is too short to stress out so much though, and I definitely hope within the new year to eliminate unnecessary stress in my life. I hope I can continue letting go of the small things to achieve the big things..but I also hope to "celebrate" the smaller succeses in life - a baked pie, a date with my husband, a well-hung picture, an organized room. When I'm so focused on the big things, I tend to push the smaller things out of the picture. I don't want to do that anymore. 2011 is all about being the best I can be - just like every year. I'd like to think that we're all a work in progress!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 8

27 Things to Know About Yoga

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I have grown to greatly appreciate serene moments. My job primarily centers around engaging with people, text, and images and so when I enjoy my free time away from that.

 I've always enjoyed alone, quiet time (or rather, have grown to appreciate it - one of the lessons I learned while studying abroad), and have grown to really adore the stillness and joy that stems from 'disengaging' within serene moments. Sipping my favorite tea while in bed, taking a long hot shower, applying a new lipstick, surveying an organized closet - it doesn't quite matter what the moment is as much as the power of serenity that can be derived from it. I define serenity and peace as the same, and heaven knows I'm all about finding peace these days. Part of what makes these moments so special is that I actively participate in the moment by appreciating it so fully - thanking my Father above for peace and serenity when many people aren't as fortunate.

What about you? What do you appreciate most? How do you express your gratitude?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 7

Making Ideas Happen

Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

I'm all about plans. Lists. Journals. Notes. Post-it's (all over my apartment, literally - I maried my post-it twin). I'm all about planning, and keeping tabs on what I need to do to achieve my goals and check off items on my lists. Whether it's grocery lists or grad school application spreadsheest, I am obsessed with planning and making things happen. For me, planning is a huge part of my identity, and I am thankful that it allows me to take things from just "ideas" to reality. My next goal is to become a full-fledged writer/reporter/journalist and so my steps towards that are to regularly write & pitch articles for our digital operation/side, as well as to hone my skills in other areas which would make me a more valuable asset to our organization. When I first said I wanted to be a "writer," I realized that I could be a writer without necessarily having that occupation as my day job - thus this blog! It's all about the small steps towards bigger goals, and I hope by checking of the small tasks on my "to-do" list, I am able to achieve my dreams..

.What about you? What steps do you take to achieve your dreams and goals?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 6

50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need

Prompt: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

I officially loved this prompt - just in time for my **26th** birthday! There's really nothing better than dejunking - it makes for a clearer head & a more sincere heart, in my opinion!

11) I don't need paper. Bills, papers, flyers, junk mail, catalogues! While I've come a looong way (thanks for the internets), I still recieve lots of paper. I'd love to officially become more efficient at coordinating my email and paper mail so as to further reduce waste & energy opening/looking at all that darn paper!

10) Toxic relationships. Even though you amy not directly talk to or communicate with someone, toxicity in relationships can exist and affect you. I become really upset when I think about some of the toxic relationship in my life, and in 2011 I wouldlike to figure out how to best manage and resolve these relationships so that I can feel free to move on. My spirit has been really down with some of the toxic relationships that I have with people out there, and it would be wonderful to let go and live freely.

9) 5 pounds! I know it's not much, but I'd love to "let go" of 5 pounds to make for a svelte me. I'm shapely and "thin," but I'd like to be able to excersize and lose just a few to be all around sexy. No newlywed gut for me!!!

8) "Gimme pig" syndrome. I want to take the focus away from "me" and focus it on "us"! I'd like to think that I place alot of focus on my husband and my marriage, but I'd like to look past "me" and think more about our little family & our house (particularly our house..it needs some TLC with regards to paint, furniture, and cleaning!) I think a good way of doing this is just refocusing what I'm reading and what I'm focusing on to make sure that my mind is on "us" rather than just "me."

7) Anxiety! NO MAS! I need to control it, harness it, and perhaps even - this is ambitious - release it! I stress out waaayy too much about dumb stuff, and while I usually channel my stress so as to eventually succeed, it's far too damaging to my being. By exersizing more, achieving my goals, and indulging in more "extracurricular" activities, I'll be able to have an outlet for all that negative energy.

6) Unhealthy habits. Picking my cuticles, being lazy, all that jazz. I'd love to be the woman I've always wanted to be. I know I am being a bit hard on myself here, but I always think of myself as a work in progress - working towards more, always hungry and wanting to achieve. My friends and family deserve the best me possible! Again, resolving this would come from just focusing on things other than the negative habit itself - for example, actually using the stress ball at work rather than picking at my nails!

5) Clutter. Eliminate, disgard. I'm good about throwing away items I don't need, but you can always live with less! On that note...have to call Goodwill....

4) Debt. Need to knock that out! I need to explore options for paying off the maximum amount of interest possible & retooling my non-existant budget! Ideally, I'd come up with a five year plan and work from there...I also need to let go of feeling bad about it, because I used it for my education - and what better investment is there than moi?

3) General sloth-ness and excessive TV watching. I adore reading and have been reading more since the wedding, but I'd like to up the amount and variety that I read. I used to always borrow books from the library since I don't like to buy them on my own dime, but since the bedbug scare I haven't. That's not an excuse though - there are lots of books laying around my house I haven't read yet, and I can always read material online! I end up watching alot of television at night on the weekdays because I read all day for work & TV is an easy, mindless activity.

2) Monotony in cooking. I usually try to make one new recipe a week, but I'd like to consistently try more new recipes more often!

1) I don't need to aspire to more than I have - I want to actively thank God for my life. I want to be happy with what I have (I am), but I want to be more active in being thankful and mindful of my blessings.

What about you? What could you live without?

Friday, December 10, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 5

Author: Susannah Conway

Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Upon reading this prompt, I immediate teared up.  I'd like to pat myself on the back for a couple of wise decisions this year, the most amazing of which was the decision to say "yes." YES! YES! YES! To be Mrs. Hubbs...definitely the wisest decision I've made all year! It's been an amazing journey thus far, and in two weeks it will be out three month anniversary! Times flies, but I'm thankful for every minute I spend with my boo...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 4

The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

oh wow! um. my wedding. and I'll keep all the juicy details about that to myself..thanks :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 3

Author: Karen Walrond
The Beauty of Different

Prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

Beautiful. Different. I know I for one am so thankful for a society where we are able to link those two words together. My word though...what makes me beautifully different? That's an interesting one. I think of myself as quite the odd duck at times...

-I have curly hair. I'm able to tame it most of the time, but my husband loves it best when it's frizzy & crazy; long and wild. It's my trademark - I wear it down most days, and my long, dark, curly hair is definitely something I think that sets me apart.

-I have a secretly sick sense of humor. I know I come off as utterly serious, uptight and stern, but I do have a sense of humor that comes out with those I'm most comfortable with. When I don't watch myself, it can also come out unexpectedly at strange times, such as at work (yes, I totally cracked a marijuana joke at work with the SVP of communications..umm).

-I am slightly OCD and yet, not so much. I MUST have all the food price stickers off my food before I store it, and I HAVE to have the toilet paper roll/sheet facing a certain way...and I CANNOT have any of my foods touching on a plate...and yet I can go days & weeks without seeing hairballs all over the apartment, much to the chargrin of the afore-mentioned hubbs. For this, I blame my poor eyesight, of course. I also adore cleaning an already clean/tidy apartment, but I HATE cleaning a messy/disorganized one. It's like making a dent in a mountain, and that stresses me out. Much easier just to keep on keepin' on, you know?

-I freakin LOVE a hunk of red meat..but I refuse to cook any red meat, such as a steak, on the stove top. Mostly because I know what well-cooked beef tastes like, and I haven't had a) enough experience to produce that kind of cooking and b) I refuse to make expensive mistake$.

-I have long, lean legs & I don't have to work out for them. Weee! Yay genetics!

-I'm one of those hard-butts who refuses to give money to a hobo, but just about every time I pass a Salvation Army bucket I dump out the contents of my wallet...

-I'm a picker. hey, 'beautifully different', right? No judging! I pick zits, hair, scabs, anything. Omgee, indeed! My mom used to pick on me, and now I pick on hubbs. The cycle of love, no?

-I have a graduate school degree and I still, obviously, use words like 'thinger' and gesticulate wildly to express myself. Oh yeah...

-I twirl my long hair obsessively. I say it keeps it less frizzy, some say it's a sign of girliness on crack...

-I love shoes. I can't say much more, or else I'll start browsing for shoes online & then that's just dangerous. I used to adore high heels, but I'm surely getting old because those suckers hurt my feet more than they used too! I'm not so much about 'whimsical' shoes, but sexy ones!

...and those are the things that make me 'beautifully different!'  What about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 2


Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

haha. omgee. I just started cracking up, thinking about my corny sense or definition of what "community" is. Early on with the onslaught of wedding planning, I became a full-fledge wedding blog junkie. Like..embarassingly so. Except that I was so embarassed to be "one of those" that I never really came out with it to blog or comment on any of the communities that I was quickly finding myself totally enthralled with. My hubbs was/is the only person who knew about it! Hilarious, right? Or stalker-ish. Oh, the joys of the internets!

I also joined a significant professional community this year. I won't name names, but I'm employed by a highly regarded news/entertainment group, and I feel like I definitely broke the barrier to some respects by being employed, and secondly, by being in such a highly-regarded group within the company. We'll see what happens, but it's definitely a community that I've joined within the past year.

In the next year, I'd like to form closer bonds with my family. I'm trying, but it's hard. Alot of it has to do with my own stubborness and schedule, but we'll see. Half the battle is trying!

What about you? What communities are you part of, or would like to be?

Monday, December 6, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 1

(this is the first in a blog series I'm doing using Reverb 10 prompts! For more about the project, click here)

Author: Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project

Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

This prompt just brought a huge smile to my face! I am not "crafty" by any means (in fact, my husband LOVES to tease me about the sweater I'm knitting him...to be finished never, as my innermost perfectionist finds crafting extremely stress-inducing...my motto is "why make it if I can buy it?"), but I did manage to crank out some projects for my wedding which took place just a few months ago!

The last project or craft which I had made for the wedding were adorable cake flag toppers for the individual slices of cake which we served our guests at the reception! No matter that I had never seen a cake flag before; the moment I saw them on weddingbee, I had to have them! Absolutely no matter that I do not craft as a general rule, do not even own a pair of useable scissors, and did not have the time to create cake flags in the triple digits. Did I let that deter me? NO.WAY. So I looked up a variety of instructions for them, schlepped to the craft store, freakin' agonized about the shade of paper(s) to be used, agonized some more about fonts to be used, and did my thang! I made my hubbs cut out every.single.flag. since he had the (office) equipment to do so, and then I used pinking shears (had to buy these!) to create fun edges and then glued the flags to toothpics. It took a good amount of time, but I was prouder than proud that they didn't suck & actually looked really nice! It was a moment (when during which my then-fiance just shook his head and forbade me to do anymore tasks wedding-related since we were just a week away from the date) and I was super happy. It was like reliving my four year old self's proclamation of "look mom, I colored in the lines!"

Let's just bypass the fact that the oldies at the wedding could not read the flags to save their lives given our sexy mood lighting...I loved them, they didn't suck (how many times can I reiterate this one?!), and they were definitely a big hit! Needless to say, the wedding just drew nearly every inclination I could ever have to craft, but I would definitely like to continue making Christmas cookies (I cranked out 4 dozen over the weekend - that's creative, right?!) and would eventually like to do some fun wedding photo/album projects!

What about you? What was the last thing YOU made???

eatin' candy canes...

So you know what feels GOOD? Giving to others! Now, this doesn't even have to cost you one.cent. No indeed...and in fact, volunteering not only makes you feel good, but can even "substitute" for spending money on entertainment! So round up some friends & co-workers, and make some moves! I just wrapped gifts for kiddies with my co-workers..so much fun, and I even scored a candy cane - weee!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

dude, that's old

ew...I'm going to be 26 in a few days. I'd like to think that as I grow older, I grow [slightly] smarter...so to kick off my [late] 20's, I'm going to start a little series where I'll share one smart $ tip a day!

Here we go!

Confession: I am a coffee addict. Like "OMG NO YOU DIDNT JUST HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE ON THE HOUR EVERY HOUR!" It was bad - as in, it got to the point where my best friend in high school actually passed the eff out in the mall because she was so beyond over-caffinated! That should tell you something. Together, we put the "loko" in the now-banned Four-Loko. True story people. In any case, I blame my Puerto Rican genes for my tendency to want to self-medicate, er, caffeinate. I used to spend at least $10 a day in college on coffee, and my first year of working spent at least half that every day on my afternoon fix. My husband despises my habit, and so with his disgust/encouragement, was able to get into the habit of drinking ONE.CUP. A DAY. For realz! And I make it at HOME before I leave for work! Wowza. I figure, this way I'm saving (with some suffering, I might add...d*mn the mid-afternoon slump)...


Yes, you read that. Now blink and read it again. So saving that means lots of nice shoes for mama, which I'm all about. However, this is kind of the reverse of "saving," so obviously this is a topic I'll have to revisit :)

Happy weekend, everybody! What are some of your "duh" ways to save?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

giving thanks-

"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!"  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Although we're a bit past the official day of "Thanksgiving," I do believe that giving thanks - in prayer, to those I love; be thankful for all I have - is something that should be done daily. It's good for the soul, and good for me as I go throughout the crazed rush of the hours.

Today is December 2nd, so I'll post about two things I'm thankful for:

-my darling husband. I love you. He began our relationship by calling me his angel, but now I find that he has become an angel of mine in every sense. He is so sweet & works so hard for our little family. We are two very different people, but we have something special - all the love in the world between us, and I am so grateful for him! He is my hubbs and because of him I am the luckiest girl in the world!

-opportunities. Although I gripe & complain, and complain & gripe (and then feel tremendously bad about myself in-between), I am so fortunate & blessed to have the whole world ahead of me in terms of opportunities. All I have to do is work hard, and I know great things will come. I'v been so blessed, and the best is yet to come!

..what about you? What are you thankful for today?

xoxo, the chick with cents

Monday, November 29, 2010

secrets aren't always kept: journalism, government, and the role of secrecy

Here we go - wow. I popped open my laptop yesterday to read the paper online as a break from chores...and this headline greeted me: The Decision to Publish Diplomatic Documents. I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but my jaw basically dropped to the table in reaction to the second instance of sensitive government information leaked to the public. It's absolutely thrilling and terrifying to live in an age where events like this comprise my daily news, and I'm trying to remember each moment, every reaction, and the details of the events which have shaped my adulthood.

The memos released are "based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. The documents — some 250,000 individual cables, the daily traffic between the State Department and more than 270 American diplomatic outposts around the world — were made available to The Times by a source who insisted on anonymity. They were originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to exposing official secrets, allegedly from a disenchanted, low-level Army intelligence analyst who exploited a security loophole.,,WikiLeaks intends to publish this archive on its Web site in stages, with each batch of documents related to a particular country or topic. Except for the timing of publication, the material was provided without conditions. Each news organization decided independently what to write about the cables."

So there you have it. Omgee indeed. My first thought was exactly that, followed by an instant curiosity about the secrets revealed that were no longer secret to the world at large. Anyone who has the desire to learn the contents of these cables can - and so the goal of the New York Times will be fulfilled. To provide knowledge to the public at large; to create a means of communication through which to enrich our lives - that is the purpose of journalism. That, and to publish whatever content will keep them afloat. Either or. Crazy though - what organization has private communications that aren't potentially damaging or embarassing? What do I really have to learn from these cables, which all date from 2007 or later? What can I do about it? What do these cables reveal about our government and its relationships in a post 9/11 world?

I'll be thinking about my own answers to these questions, but what do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday - the quick & dirty version

This year is alllll about quality over quantity, and so I definitely have some pricey items on my Christmas gift list! Like many, my desire to be generous can sometimes cause some serious damage to my bank account, but luckily my procastinating at work lead to a glorious find - black Friday sales all week long on Amazon.com!* Looks like I'll be doing my price comparisons and shopping online [again] this year, complete with free shipping and discounts! Here's to shopping with a glass of bubbly in hand without the crowds...I'll meet you on the couch!

*This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, November 22, 2010

when being in "good shape" doesn't refer to treadmill time-

So here's an idea: what if the rich - you know, those people we love to hate and constantly bemoan when discussing tax rates - actually admitted they shold be paying more to Uncle Sam? Are there those among them who can attest to the rich being in pretty good shape right now with our current tax code?
That's exactly what Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (and one of America's richest men) suggested in an interview with ABC News' Christiane Amanpour to be aired during Thanksgiving weekend. What a novel idea! Said Buffet, "I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it."

This Sunday's episode of "This Week" will be focused on The Giving Pledge, which is a major philanthropic effort spearheaded by Buffet, and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Buffet stated that tax rates for the lower and middle-bracket classes should be cut, but that taxes for the wealthy should be increased. Upon Amanpour's prompt that popular thinking dictates that tax cuts for the wealthy energizes business & capitalism, Buffet explained the following:

"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on."

So what do you think? Should we keep the status quo (because oh yeah, that seems to be working)? What about tax increases for the rich and upper classes? What about minizing rates between classes, or eliminating taxes for those in lower income brackets altogether? Do you think that Buffet is implying that he supports the tax proposals that were recently submitted to Congress? And here's a novel thought - if Buffet so clearly thinks that he's being undertaxed, why doesn't he voluntarily donate to the IRS? Hmm....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red, White Blue...good writing is without a stripe of any color

The New York Time's magazine has a brilliant piece that you must read, NOW titled Inside Sarah Palin's Circle. It doesn't matter who you stump for, like, or avidly hate. Good writing is a precious thing, and I only wish that pieces like this - which sheds some light on Palin's absence of action as well as a playbook of her recent public decisions/endorsements - were published more often!

Did you click on the link yet? Do it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top earners? Who dat???

One of my goals with this blog is to understand finance as a whole; to truly understand how the things I read on print pertain to my life and my future. An article recently published by the Wall Street Journal titled "Top Earners May Face Big Hit" struck me as a great example of the philosophy that I hope to espouse with this blog.

This article summarizes a recent presidential panel's modification of certain tax credits and deductions which currently exist of our current tax system. Their proposal, as stated by the WSJ, "could hit higher earners hard, largely by wiping out deductions and investment breaks that tend to especially benefit those who make enough money to itemize their taxes." I'm sure, that by the time you read that last sentence, you thought "ok, whatever, high earners...zzz...NEXT!" So would I, and I did, but my darling husband sent this article to me with a high 'alert' attached - could this mean something to me and mine?

Why yes, indeed it could and it does. In plain language, the panel proposed that the deductions that "high earners" receive for mortgage interest payments be removed from our current tax credit system. It's thought that "high earners" can recoup this loss from other types of changes encompassed within the proposal but the question is...are all "high earners" the same? I think not. I would never think of myself as a high earner - in my opinion, I get paid a very modest salary. My husband earns more than I do - is he rich? Nope, not at all (in fact, my closet can definitely attest to this fact) What he does have is an excellent credit score & a tendency to save, which allowed him to put a down payment towards a lovely apartment. I'd say a good amount of his salary goes towards the mortgage & housing costs, and now his concern is mine - that the proposed change would dramatically affect his take-home salary and tax return.

The point is - does it seem right to create something that would greatly impact what was such a huge life decision for him? Who qualiifies as a "high earner"?  While I am the first to agree that our nation needs to implement drastic changes so as to reduce our nation's budget deficit, it's pretty clear that there is something of note here, namely, that our definition of a "high earner" needs some further clarification within the context of individuals who utilize tax credits to make saavy business decision to their benefit and others. Color this whatever party color you'd like, but could we afford our apartment without the mortgage tax break? Probably not. We'd rent out an apartment, steadily losing money on a place we could never permanently call our own. What will we do if this passes? We're not panicking, but it does have us rethinking some of the larger decisions we've each made over the years (like taking out school loans, for example).

What about you? How would the proposed modifications change your life? Would any of your recent life decisions be impacted? What type of changes would you propose to our current tax system?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday cheer for LESS!

If there's one thing I love it's a good discount code, and what could be better than kicking off a discount code Friday series?

I've just started designing my very own personalized holiday cards this season, and will most likely be using Shutterfly.* I've heard good things about them, and to make things sweeter, I just found a 25% off coupon code!

Just enter "FAT WALLET 5" at checkout!

*This is not a sponsored post

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"“I’d rather get this right than get it rushed,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Kirk, according to a senior administration official who was present."

Unless you've been under a rock (where? can I join you? mmk thanks!), you're probably well aware that after the media-fueled star-spangled parade that were our national mid-term elections, President Obama went on a well-publicized tour of Asia that took him to India, Indonesia, and as of this posting, South Korea. It is in South Korea where the G20 summit has convened, and where President Obama, in good faith (we presume) entered earlier today in lengthy negotiations with President Lee Myung-bak. Hours flew by, and our President, having entered the negotiations no doubt with his head crammed with talking points and accompanied by some over-paid negotiations consultant/strategist, left the negotiating room to enter a press conference. It was amidst flashing bulbs and before a host of microphones where it was announced that no treaty had been met between himself and the governing head of state of South Korea.

I haven't yet mentioned what these proposed negotiations were about, but in what could be perceived as quite the PR stunt, President Obama has decided to undertake the subject of the American economy during this trip and use it as a standard of sorts. In the papers, on the television, and through streaming video we became convinced, that Obama was working hard, all day & all night, all for our side, and that he would meet his self-imposed deadline of creating a free trade agreement once in South Korea. "It would happen!", he seemed to say, much in the style of "Vote for change!"

Yes, despite the public's sudden affinity for tea (lots of it, please, particularly of the generic wrapped in paper smells cheap kind), or because of it, Obama is once again the champion of the American everyman's. Specifically you and me, all of us. A free trade agreement with South Korea would mean lots of things, not the least of which my company would be able to take a greater share of the Korean market, and when they make money...I get to keep my job! The longer I keep my job, the more money I make, and the more shoes I buy. Oh yes, that's the type of stuff I learned in Econ 101 (did I mentioned I dropped that course freshman year? too many graph thingers). Sounds good for everyone, and yet a treaty was not reached was because the terms of such an agreement could not be agreed upon, despite all the talks that had gone back and forth before the actual event. Did Obama present an air-tight case? Did President Lee? We may never know, but what we do know is that the pressure is officially on - Obama is "damned if you do, damned if you don't" regardless of what type of bacon -- or sonmat (Korean domestic beef) -- he brings home. He has to do something that will stimulate our economy and by doing so satiate the political greed which I think is plauging both our national parties right now. Congress will have to endorse the treaty, and event with the current make-up of the House,  all will need to be persuaded as freshman senators begin to mark their territory and form their due allegiances in anticipation of 2012.

So watch carefully, the events that will continue to fold over the next few days. A penny earned is a penny gained, but will Obama lose in the long run? What types of talking points would you be sure to bring up to him if you could? What would you do with a few extra dollars and cents? What does the treaty need to encompass for you to be "sold," much as Congress will undoubtly have to be?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's the big deal about cents?

oh yeah...who doesn't love Lincoln!?
So, here you are - you've found the blog through a web search, or maybe I emailed you relentlessly about checking it out (sorry mom!). Either way, you're here, and probably asking "what's the big deal about cents???"

Well, duh, omg, it's always about the cents. Cents, sense, however you spell it, it all boils down to one thing - it's a commodity to be used in your favor. Can you get it? Sometimes. Can you save it for a rainy day? Sometimes. Is it hard to get? Most definitely. But can it be earned? Fo' sho!

That's the biggest lesson here. I think my good "cents" came from a variety of sources: my grandma's wisdom, my mom's everlasting persistence, all those huge books I devoured (and still do!), a daily diet of Bible stories, and just alot of observation. I earned my good "cents," and I hope my blog can be a source of good "cents" for you-  truly. I'm not claiming to be a guru, a saint, or even good with a budget (honestly)...I'm just saying that I've got my own 5 cents worth, and I'm happy to share. Whether it's a bit about my day and how some good "cents" (ok, officially  stopping with the quotation marks now) saved me or some analysis about an interesting newspaper article - I will share it. That's my good cents for you, and I hope you'll throw some at me in the comments! Like the stray pennies laying in the street that I always look out for (and pick up..eww, I know!), good cents can be yours, or mine, just for the taking.

So here we go! omg! (pronounce omgee, by the way) that makes cents!!!

omg! here we go...

here we go! I am beyond excited to begin writing here at omg! that makes sense! I have had several blogs throughout the years, but they've all been fairly short lived endeavors and have covered a multitude of subjects like "wow sometimes college sucks" and "Hi! I am paid to write this energetic spiel about kidnappings in the Midwest for this particular news outlet!" In any case, this is my new space, and I am looking forward to making it a long-lived enterprise...because like all things worth having in life, anything worth having takes time to cultivate! And so this blog will represent my commitment to writing as I continue to pursue the type of life good 'cents' entails. I'm excited to begin this journey, and I can't wait to share with my readers what it means to have good "cents" as a girly girl with big dreams and an even bigger heart!