Category Archives: Just Living

Goals for 2020

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope that everyone had an awesome holiday season and has jumped into the new year and decade with positive thoughts and healthy intentions. The end of last year was a very busy and transitional time for me. There was a position change with my job, I finally got below 200lbs in my weight loss journey and I finally paid off a major medical bill that I had been paying for a few years. Woohoo!!!  This post is getting out a WHOLE LOT later than I wanted, but I’ve been laid up dealing with a Baker’s Cyst that mostly has me sitting somewhere with my leg propped up as much as possible.  Since I normally work in my office/craft room for writing; editing and posting has been a little further down on my to do list.  But I digress.  Please enjoy, and know that tomorrow I start physical therapy and I hope to be back in the writing chair soon.

For the first time, I decided to set and write down goals for the year AND get an Accountability Buddy to help me make a math or pathway on how to achieve the goals as well as to ensure that I am working towards the goals that I make.


I asked my oldest brother to be my accountability buddy and he agreed. My oldest brother and I are pretty close and there are things that I share with him that I feel more comfortable sharing then what I would even share with my best girlfriends, so to me he was the perfect person to share my goals with and someone who will definitely hold me accountable. We have verbally discussed my goal, but have not yet set down to look at the goals and how I’m going to achieve them. Some would think this is NOT good; we’re a month into the new year, and it seems as if I’m already slipping. To this I say, “don’t count me out, I’m working on my goals or at least thinking of them daily”.

Today, I’m going to share some of my goals.

1) In my weight loss journey, I have always had a goal to get down to 185lbs. I’m 5’10.5” tall and I am for the most part happy with my body shape. I have hips and backside that I love, but they are not too much. It works for my height. What I don’t like is the pooch that I carry in the front of me. A lot of it was due to some health issues that I have had taken care of several years ago; but I needed to work on flattening it out. I also wanted to tighten some up and slim down. I have been on WW for almost two years and my weight loss was slow. I don’t feel bad or discouraged by the slow progression, I feel that this weight loss journey was the best way for me to lose weight and keep it off. For me I have changed my way of eating, not just dieting. I’m about 10-15 lbs from reaching my goal weight. To many this seems like a quick goal that I can accomplish, but remember, my weight loss has been slow. Therefore, these last few pounds can take some time. I promise to let you guys know how things are going.

2) In my blogging journey, I want to be better about posting. I know, I know…I say that every year and last year I think I did tons better. This year, my goal is to post at least bi-monthly. I feel the best way to do this is to write down ideas of what to post and write whenever I have the time. It would be awesome if I could find a dictation program to speak to that can type it out for me. Needless to say, I will make the effort.

3) In my financial journey, I want to get to the point where I can spend a check and save a check. With my position change, I have gone from getting paid every week to getting paid bi-monthly. Not every other week, but the 15th and the 31st. It has been an adjustment and something that I will post about sometime in the near future; but I also have gotten a nice salary increase. With my goal to get debt paid down/off; I don’t see why it’s impossible to get to a point where I “spend a check and save a check”. I’m going to be honest, this goal is one that I most likely will not accomplish this year. I think it may be more like “spend a check and save ½ of a check”.

4) Something new for me will be creating and selling planner inserts. What do I mean by this? I have been an avid planner for most of my adult life. I started out with a journal style planner in school (I guess it would be similar to a bullet journal before bullet journals were a thing), then graduated to Franklin Planners until about 3 years ago when Franklin Covey stopped making the huge variety of planner styles (this is because of the popularity of electronic planning). I finally found the disc-bound planner systems. I spent a lot of time and money designing my own pages because I was used to planning a certain way; but finally decided to stick with pages that were already out there. I start decorating with stickers and washi tape, but still needed to keep enough space to actually use the planner for actually…….planning. I also fell in love with “frankenplanning”. This is dividing my planner into different planner type categories and having all my planning needs in one large planner. I have my calendar planner, budget planner, health planner, work planner (a section of my planner dedicated entirely one of my job responsibilities that I need to keep track of), notes, and something new meal planning and grocery planner. I had to create new pages to make some of my sections work better for me. While I was creating these pages, I thought maybe someone else could benefit from these pages. So……I’m going to share. I need to figure out how to do this from my blog page and will spend some time researching how best to go about it. Stay tuned guys, I will share the process and pages soon.

So, that’s the majority of my goals for this year. Tell me what you think? Do you have goals? Do you have an accountability buddy? Comment below and let me know. Also, I would love ideas for post you would like to see. What things/post are you most interested in?

Until next time,


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I need to explain…

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to send a quick post to talk about what’s been going on and why I haven’t been posting as much.  When we came back from Paris, we noticed that Sasha, my beautiful fur-baby, was worrying her foot.  Upon closer inspection, we noticed that one of her toenails was sitting straight up.  She was due to get her booster flu shot in a few days, so we waited until then to ask the doctor about it.  The doctor said that it should be no big deal, cut it off and suggested an antibiotic shot just in case something was going to crop up.  Less than two weeks later, she was licking the foot again and we noticed that the foot was starting to have an odor.  We took her back to the doctor and were told that she may have gotten an infection, her foot was bandaged, we purchased a cone to keep her from messing with it, and we got a prescription for oral antibiotics.  Fast forward 3 months, a larger cone, many rounds of antibiotics, tons of test, and a lot of money this is what her toe looked like (it can be gross, so if you don’t have a strong stomach don’t click on the link).Bad Toe  We ended up having to have the toe amputated and are now anxiously waiting for results from the lab to confirm or deny that the melanoma is non-cancerous.  My home smelled like decaying flesh and stinking dog for 3 months and it was driving us batty.  We knew something was wrong, but we had to exhaust all options before we took drastic measures.  Yesterday I took her for her first post-op doctors visit and the bandage was removed.  It is the craziest thing to see that missing toe, but the doctors are very impresses with how well she seems to be doing.  Bouncing back like the champ that she is.  20190624_114511[1]We have one more week of the cone and limited activity. 


I have to say I will be making a grooming appointment for her this week for next weekend.  We have NEVER went this long with having our dog groomed (even if she isn’t getting a haircut, I’m bathing her, because I can’t stand for smelly pets or people to come into my home and smell my pets before they see them.).  I prayerfully optimistic that the lab results will come back favorable. 

In addition to all that has been going on with Sasha, we also got a new fur-baby – Destiny the beautiful gray tabby cat.  I just knew I had a picture of “missy” (that’s the nickname I’ve given her), but I only have videos of her funny antics. 


My Babydoll had been wanting a cat, but I had vetoed it because I really didn’t want a cat walking on my countertops in the kitchen.  My husband ran across an office cat that he became enamored with and suggested we get one if they were like that cat.  After much research into ways to prevent cats from getting on countertops, looking at tons of cats, and a final trip to the store with Babydolls godmother (who is a cat owner) and Destiny came home with us.  She is a complete joy, and has a temperament much like Sasha’s.  Now if we could get them to get along that would be awesome.  We have been keeping them on separate floors of the house until recently.  Sasha has seen her plenty and there have been a few times when we thought there was going to be an incident, but nothing so far.   My father asked me the other day who I was trying to protect, Sasha or Destiny, and I stated both.  I believe it’s more Sasha, because of her foot situation, I don’t want her to get scratched and hurt.  Destiny is a baby (she was 3 months old when we got her and it’s been two months), and wasn’t ready to defend herself when we first got her; but now I think she can take Sasha.  We are letting them interact a little more – it’s more Destiny runs under the bed when Sasha chases her, and Sasha whines mostly and barks at the bed.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.  It’s a little stressful waiting for them to become friends.

The last major change for me is the purchase of a new car!  I know how is a new car a sound purchase for someone who is working on her finances.  I really didn’t want to purchase a new car, but my homeboy started having problems and I needed to get a new boo.  My husband insisted that it be a brand new car and I ended up getting a 2020 Kia Telluride. 


I am really satisfied with my purchase and impressed with how awesome this car is.  I had to order it because they are flying off the lot, but it came a week early (it was due to arrive the day of Sasha’s surgery). 

I’m not going to mention how busy things are at work, because it’s too crazy.  Just know that I’ve been totally busy lately running my household and not forsaking you guys.  I’m going to get it together.  If you guys have any blog subject request, please comment below; and thanks for following. 


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Bonjour, Mon Ami

Todays post will include some more pictures from our trip to Paris in March.  I know it is the middle of May, but the month of April was super busy and I’m still dealing with some new adventures that have and are occurring in the Cork household.  I did share pictures of Notre Dame after it caught fire   I want to note first off, that I was unable to go inside of the Louvre.  It is a source of contention for me and something that my husband has promised me that we will do the next time we go.  Don’t know when that will be, but I’m going to hold him to it.  I am not a professional photographer and my pictures are taken with my Olympus Pen E camera that was bought because it can fit in my carry-on bag and purse (in the camera case of course) easily and still give me great pictures.  I do not use my cell phone for too many of my major pictures, I’m a photo purest like that and I suppose I will get better with time; until then, I do my best.  Ok, now on to the photos.  I hope you enjoy.

The first place we chanced upon was the Arc de Triomphe.



After leaving the Arc and having an awesome lunch – my initial encounter with the citron tart that had me looking for the same awesomeness similar to the high a drug addict says they are always trying to achieve – we began walking through the city.  I took pictures of everything that seemed to be historically beautiful.  I soon realized the city is historically beautiful and full of architecture that is everyday to them but something to behold for us.


This was someone’s residence.  Look at the doors on that place.  I can just imagine what the inside looks like.


A random statue in a round-about.


We were walking through the city and looked over to this wonderful site.  So we headed that way.  It was great to just “chance” upon places we planned to visit anyway.





More pictures to come.  Have a great weekend everyone.  It’s my Babydolls birthday weekend.  I can’t believe God blessed me with that human being 15 years ago.  She truly is a blessing and one of my favorite people.  


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Notre Dame….without the destruction

With the recent destruction and devastation that occurred in Paris last week, I thought I would share my photos of our visit to Notre Dame Cathedral.  I had planned to share this photos anyway, but I had planned to post in the order of the things that we did each day.  Notre Dame was one of the last places that we went to during the trip.  But alas, I’m going to the pictures share sooner and I will show the others in future post.


The outside of the cathedral was beautiful.  The detail even around the doors.  There are “faces” of all types of saints molded into the arcs.  It was so beautiful.


There were several statues of different saints inside the cathedral; I decided to take pictures of two that I knew: Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc.



There was this long display of all of the times that Jesus appeared doing His works.



This is the cross that they were able to salvage from the fires.  I was sitting in the pews when I took that photo. 


Other shots from the congregation area.


The stained glass in this place was amazing.  I wish I had of taken more pictures. 




There was an opportunity to go into a treasure room.  I don’t know if there are more than one of those rooms, but we were in this one.  There were so many treasures inside, and I attempted to read/interpret as much as I could; but I just took pictures of things that looked interesting.  I hope all of this survived the fire.


This picture was really interesting.  I can’t remember exactly, but this was a statue made after a priest was persecuted and eventually killed because of his believes.  This is him holding his head symbolizing like him not being separated from the church.   There are other things on all sides at the top, but I can’t remember what they are and the glare is keeping me from seeing.  I apologize for that, but I do remember how “tripped out” I was upon reading the story.


Of course there were tons of other statues, confessionals, and places where you could light a candle and pray for someone/something.


Leaving the cathedral, we were amazed at how massive it looked even being close to a block away from the entrance.  There is also the spire that was seen collapsing on news reports.

20190326_14230620190326_142309 I have more photos, but I figured I needed to end this post at some point.  Babydoll and I were talking about it last week.  We said when they rebuild; we hope they are able to convey the history – with it being new, hopefully it won’t look new. 

Until next post, which will probably be about the desserts that I make for Easter dinner – I’m hosting dinner for my family.


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Bonjour, Mon Amie!

Yep, we did it, we went to Paris.  It was something that we had been wanting to do for awhile, and my husband found out that our city recently started having direct flights to Paris that aren’t terribly expensive.  So last year around Christmas he announced that we were going to Paris for Spring Break. 

I would like to point out that although our city now has direct flights to Paris, we did not get one of those direct flights.  This may have been because my husband has a habit of waiting until a couple of weeks before we are going to make a trip before he actually books the trip.  I cannot seem to get him to move any faster than that on vacation plans and after over 20 years together, I don’t trip on it anymore.  I just wait for the confirmation email so that I can know what date and time we are leaving.

Before we left, there were all sorts of opinions shared about the city, the most prevalent ones were that the city is dirty, the people are rude, and there are pick-pockets everywhere so be on the look-out. I’d like to talk about them.

Lets address the first – the city is dirty.  The city was no more dirty than any other major city throughout the US.  It was not different than New York or Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Unless you consider the beautiful old buildings and cobblestone streets that speak to the history of the country as dirty, then I’d say that is an inaccurate statement.


The second thing that was said was that the people are rude. I speak a little bit of French, and understand a little bit more.  Babydoll is currently in her third year of French; and I had seven years of French, (but if you don’t use something you really do lose it) I can piece together what to say and what is being said; but we aren’t fluent by any means.  Having said that, we never encountered any rude Parisians.  Once they figured out that we were not fluent if they could speak English, they were all too happy to converse with us.  My husband insisted that we use Uber to get around if we couldn’t walk.  If our drivers did not know English it was usually a quite ride, but they were never rude.  We even had one driver use a Google app to allow us to converse with her and she with us.  Keep in mind it is a busy metropolitan city and it’s fast paced, not unlike New York or Chicago; so there was no stopping on the street for a friendly chat and they just walked past you to get to where they were going.  Although occasionally you would run across some elderly people strolling down the street having discussions and enjoying the day or walking their dog.



Pickpockets…..we didn’t encounter them.  I can’t said that I could attribute that to use or the lack thereof; but we didn’t run into anyone shady.  My husband and I both grew up in the inner-city what we call “the hood”, and because of that we are very mindful and watchful of our surroundings all the time.  Between the two of us and what we have tried to instill in Babydoll, you gotta be really good to get one over on us.  It may happen one day, but as of my 46 years on this earth, it has not happened yet. 


There were tons of street vendors around the Eiffel Tower, but even while we were in awe of the magnificence of the structure , we weren’t messed with.  They wanted you to buy, buy, buy as you were coming and leaving and that was about it. 

I loved the city and I wish I had of had more time there; and I’m totally looking forward to going back.  I can’t wait to share more pictures and stories in the upcoming weeks.  Until next week,



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New Clothes For Me?

Recently in my weight-loss journey I have come to the point where my clothes are starting to be a bit too baggy. The majority of my dress slacks are pretty expensive because of my long legs (I’m not super tall – only 5’10.5” – but I have long legs – 36” inseam). For my good slacks I’ve spent ~$100 per pair, therefore, I’m not throwing these out. I will have them altered when the time is right. But when is the right time? That’s the dilemma that I am currently dealing with. I still need to keep my dress standards the same while at work, I like to look good even when I’m working in the lab. I looked at myself in the mirror while in the restroom at work and thought, “Girl, you look frumpy. Those clothes are too big.” I have worn this outfit before, but not since my weight loss has begun to show.

Some people would say, that now I should begin purchasing new clothes. The thing is, I still have at least another 20lbs to lose before I get to my real goal weight. Because of this, I don’t think buying new clothes is something I should be doing, at least not a significant amount of money on new. So, what do I do?

I went to my mother for advice, because she has recently lost a ton of weight. It was due primarily to a horrible reaction to the prescribed medicine that she had after her first knee replacement and her inability to eat anything for 2-3 weeks. She told me of her clothing transition due to weight loss. Her first suggestion is to get rid of the items that are too big, unless I plan to go back to that size. Hello, I have spent $100 on 1 pair of pants. I only take them to be dry cleaned and are meticulously taken care of….I’m not giving them away. I’ll have them altered, but not give them away.

The second thing she recommended, was to wear clothes that are supposed to be looser or straight. Things that have stretching possibilities. She said that I should purchase things that are not too pricey – things on the clearance or sale rack. I’ve thought about this a lot, looked in my closet to see what is in there that fits that description, and I think this is the route that I’m going to take. I’m going to wear more tunic dresses,



the maxi and midi dresses that I own, leggings (if I can find shirts and more kimonos that appropriately cover my hips),

Image result for leggings with tunic



Image result for pencil skirt with boots

and pants that have elastic waistbands.  I’m thinking I’ll look for the inexpensive items at Marshall’s, TJMaxx, Amazon, and even Meijer (don’t sleep on Meijer y’all, I’ve found some really cute skirts, maxi dresses, and shirts there).  I also have to keep in mind that I don’t want to get too many things, because I’m transitioning and may end up getting smaller than my current size (hopefully).

Wish me luck guys in my search.  My goal is to continue to keep myself classically trending while I slim down.  I welcome any advice you may have and I welcome all stories of someone else’s weight loss journey.  Until next time.


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Another Goal Part 2….Finances

Last week I talked to you about setting and keeping to a budget.  This week I’ll continue with my Financial goal discussion.  So, I’ve set up the budget planner.  Another thing I decided to fix was my credit card and medical bill debt.  I had a major surgery back in 2015.  This surgery was supposed to be a 24 hour thing.  I have the surgery and the next day I go home and recuperate for 6 weeks and go on with my life.  We calculated the cost of the surgery and how much my insurance would cover and what I would owe afterwards.  I paid the balance 3 days before I went in to surgery.  It turns out that major surgery that was supposed to be a 24 hour thing ended up being a REALLY MAJOR surgery that required an extra 3 hours in surgery, an extra surgeon and an extra 6 days in the hospital.  As a result the money that I paid to cover my balance was not enough and it ended up costing another $5000.  Oh yeah….they didn’t tell me about those additional charges until a year later.  I began making payments on that bill in March of 2017 and will probably finish up by March of 2020; unless I find a way to kill this.  I also spent some time with a physical therapist because of some back pain.  This turned out to be a ~$700 bill.  I tell you, I’m over medical bills. 

I can’t begin to tell you what my credit card debt is/was.  It’s not that it’s super high, I just hadn’t figured out what it is/was.  I was offered a line of credit with a low interest rate so I took the opportunity to figure out the bills that I could easily take care of with the line of credit and those that weren’t going anywhere anytime soon – car payment, student loans (yep, I still have them), a high interest credit line with an unreal balance (I don’t want to talk about it), and medical debt.  I then looked at the balance of my credit cards and calculated what my total monthly payments to those lines of credit were.  I then looked at what a monthly payment for the line of credit would be if I used it to pay off the credit card debt.  I could do it and have some money to spare.  There were a few things that I knew would be paid off in a year or less, so I didn’t include them in the credit card debt – these included a line of credit from Paypal and the medical bill from my surgery.  Looking back, I should have included the surgery bill balance.  I spend $129/month on that bill, I could have paid it off and the extra expense to my loan payment would have been less than $30.  I wasn’t thinking on that one and missed the ball; I was only looking at the total monthly payment and what it would be and not how much it would be saving.   I tell you I had regretted that decision almost everyday until about a week ago.  I hope to tell you about that, but I don’t want to get side tracked.  I’m talking abut paying off credit card debt right now.  I was approved for the loan, and I paid off 85% of my credit card debt in January.  I can’t tell you how freeing it was to get an email from CreditKarma each time something was paid off.  It made me so happy and proud.  I know you are wondering why I said 85% and not 100%.  There were a few bills that I made purchases on after I got the loan payment – 1) was because my husband returned some items that I purchased for him for Christmas and what he exchanged it for was more than what I spent, so I ended up paying more; 2) I wasn’t sure what the balance was going to be on a charge and I estimated incorrectly; and 3) Zulily ended up having a great deal on New Balance one event and I had been looking at New Balance sneakers as a replacement for my gym and walking shoes, they have a plan with their credit cards where you can pay it off in 3 payments and I opted for that option – I’ll have that paid off this month.  The others will be paid off in two months.  It sounds bad even as I write this, but I’m telling you, I’m not sliding down that slope.  It will be done.  I will be credit debt free by May.  

A quick note about my surgery bill.  I first have to tell you about my student loans.  I am paying that loan on an income based repayment plan that I have to resign up for every year around the same time.  At the end of the year, I filled out my paperwork and submitted it and waited to see if I was approved and what my payment would be.  I was totally nervous, because I truly couldn’t afford for it to go up any more.  I’m in pay off mode, I can’t add any extra!  I got a response back in January saying that I was approved, but it did not tell what the payment would be.  I kept going back to my account to see if they would tell me and I got nothing.  Finally last week and got an email saying that I was approved and my payment starting in March would be…….wait for it……$0.00.  WHAT!!!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!  Won’t he do it!  I now had $195 that I had budgeted for that I no longer had to pay.  Before you thing think I’m going to use that money to go crazy every month, think again.  I’m in pay off mode.  I have decided, that I’m going to divide that money up three ways.  $100 will go towards my surgery bill (Yep!!!! I’ll explain it in a minute), $50 going towards the student loan principle, and $45 will go into savings.  The months that I’m short, I won’t make a student loan payment or savings deposit; but I will always make the extra surgery bill payment.  You want to know why?  Because by paying the extra $100 each month, I can pay off that bill by September.  I no longer regret not adding that bill to my pay off loan.  Because it would have been an extra $30/month for 3 years instead of being done with the bill completely in 6 months.  I tell you God has a plan for you; you can’t always or even most of the time see it, but if you trust Him, He won’t stir you wrong.  This entire pay off loan was God driven.  I had rejected the idea of this type of loan for over a year, but kept asking God to guide me in how to move forward with my finances.  This offer kept coming up and I kept deleting the email.  He started yelling at me to take this opportunity at the end of the year.  I had to move on what He was telling and I’m so glad I did. 

Ok, lets talk about my savings plan.  I have 3 savings accounts.  Yeah, you read that right, 3 savings accounts.  The first is my primary savings that get $5 auto deposited every Friday and any purchases I make with my debit card is rounded to the next dollar and the difference is deposited into the primary account.  The second account is actually the “checking” account for my dba.  I typically deposit $10 each pay period.  The final account I have is something that I started a couple of years ago.  It is based on the $.25 savings challenge.


I usually double the amount because I use half of it for my daughters 529 College Savings plan that I deposit a certain amount every month, then deposit the remaining balance earned by the end of the year.  The first year that, I ended up spending those savings on my fur-baby Sasha Fierce, because of course there has to be some type of emergency that takes your savings when you’ve accomplished a milestone.  Sad smile  I started that savings all over again last year and was able to keep the savings intake (if I took from it, I put it back in asap). 

The primary savings account is used when I’m running low in my checking account.  I try to keep a minimum of $100 in there at all times.  Not to say that I only have $100 in there; I’m saying that when it gets low I move things around when I get to $100. 

I think the $45 from student loan that I’m going to put into savings I should alternate between my dba savings and my $.25 savings.  That way I can build up both of the accounts.  

So that’s the gist of my financial goals.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I plan on checking in with you guys about the progression of my goals.  I hope that I remembered everything in my post.  I’m going to be honest, I started this on day and finished it on another.  Part two was started on the same day that part one was written, but was finished a couple days later.  Some of my thoughts may have been lost in the wayside.  Having said that, if you have a financial goal that you are working on this year, comment below.  It would be great to hear of someone else’s journey.  If you have a suggestion for something that you are doing that has worked for you, let me know.  I’m always open to suggestions.  Until next time.


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