Credit Card Debt – GONE!

Credit Card Debt is GONE

Credit Card Debt – Now a thing of the past!


And it’s done … the credit card debt that I have been trying to pay off for so long is gone.  I made the last payment on the last credit card this week.  All the stress from having that credit card debt hanging over my head is through … finished … done and over.  :)

Now, I have to say that I still have some debt.  There is the credit line/personal loan that I am still paying off … and that is about $12,000 left to go.  And there is the student loan payments from my oldest daughter’s time in college.  She has her payments to make and I have mine.  So there is still a long ways left to go before I am totally debt free. But it can certainly move a little faster, now that more money is freed up from paying off the credit card debt.

So for now … let me just celebrate this milestone.  This along-awaited, oft-dreamed-of day when I owe nothing to Citibank, Visa, Discover, etc.  Nothing else needs to be paid to them.  No more statements in the mailbox or my email inbox.  No more automatic payments from my bank account, showing such a small amount left in my bank account after those payments.  The credit card companies are now left to themselves, without my hard-earned money going into their pockets.  What will they do without me!

Ah, well you see … the sad truth is … I DON’T CARE!  :)

My goal was to pay off the last of the credit card debt before the end of the year.  And I have done that!  And after I lost my job in early October, I didn’t think that would be possible.  But God is certainly full of surprises, and this one is an especially nice surprise.  How can it be possible for me – without a job for now 2 1/2 months – to be able to payoff the remaining credit card debt … AND also pay off the last of the bill for the local Les Schwab tire center … in the SAME MONTH?!?!?!?!  It’s a two-for-one BONUS!


We have been so blessed.  It doesn’t seem possible.  Where did the money come from?  It’s just not logical.  If you had told me I would be in this position 2 months ago, I would have accused you of smoking crack.  How can a single mom with a daughter at home to support, and no job to pay the bills, manage to somehow pay those bills, put food on the table, and still have a nice Christmas?!?!?!  It’s the “loaves and fishes” thing all over again … happening right in front of my eyes.

IT’S GOD … Plain and simple.

OK, now you all have an idea of where I stand on who gets credit for all this.  ;)

You can read about how all this started here:  Debt – I Really Hate It!  And you can find other helpful posts about debt and finances here:  My Financial Journey


Arbonne Gifts for Her This Holiday Season

Yesterday I showed you a couple ideas for HIM for Christmas this year (Arbonne Gifts for Him this Holiday Season) … now we will look at a few ideas for HER!  :)

Arbonne's Shea Butter Hand Trio

Arbonne’s Shea Butter Hand Trio

I love this trio!  I love the scents of the hand lotions, and the way they soften so quickly.  There is no greasy feel – just a light softness and a light scent.  And they last, too – you don’t have to keep reapplying this hand cream every 5 minutes or so.  :)  The size is perfect for a desk or purse or bag, so you can carry them with you.  Here’s what the website has to say about it:

“Hand over this lovely gift of buttery softness to those you love. Includes two new scents, Blissful Vanilla and Peaceful Green Tea, plus our original Shea Butter.”  (just click the description and it will take you to the Arbonne website.)


Arbonne in Bloom Perfume

Arbonne In Bloom perfume

OK, now I cannot tell you personally about this product, because I haven’t tried it yet.  But you can be sure that, if it’s from Arbonne, it will be high quality to the extreme.  Since I can’t speak to a description of this product, here’s how the website describes it:

“Capture floral loveliness in a bottle. A simply sublime all-natural botanical blend blossoming with jasmine, orange flower, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood. Truly inspiring.”

Arbonne's Victoria Lake Makeup Palette

Arbonne’s Victoria Lake Makeup Palette

This makeup palette is stunning!  I am waiting for mine to arrive, along with the Arbonne in Bloom I mentioned earlier.  The colors look so rich and beautiful.  I can’t wait to try out these new makeup looks for the Christmas!  Here’s a quick run down of the colors included:

“Be stunning this season with an all-in-one palette inspired by the enchanting scenery of Victoria Lake. Discover glimmering mineral-infused eye shadows, sheer plum lip color, and a hint of illumination for the cheeks. It’s holiday elegance with colorful impact. Includes four eye shadows: Ripple, Maple, Dawn, and Cloud; Glisten Cheek Highlighter; and Sunset Sheer Moisture Lipstick.”

So there you have a few ideas for HER this Christmas.  But there are lots more where that came from.  And like I mentioned last post, the best way to take advantage of these products is to get them with a 20% discount.  That means signing up as a Preferred Client – and you can do that by going to the Arbonne website to sign up and using my Consultant ID Number:  16237841

Happy shopping!   :)

Oh, and while I am thinking about it – please “like” my Arbonne Facebook page:  Joan Merrell, Independent Consultant – Arbonne International


Arbonne Gifts for Him this Holiday Season

Arbonne's Sky for Men gift set

Arbonne’s Sky for Men gift set

Still wondering what to get that special guy for Christmas this year?  Here are a couple of ideas from Arbonne!  :)

Sky for Men® Gift Set

“He’s such a bold character, so wrap up a gift that makes him feel that way. Soothe a clean shave with scent of Sky in a revitalizing balm (5 fl. oz.), and finish with a splash of citrus, woods and refreshing herbs from our classic cologne (1.85 fl. oz.). “

Arbonne's RE9 Advanced Men's Shave Formula

Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced Men’s Shave Formula

RE9 Advanced for Men Shave

“If the party music calls for dancing cheek to cheek, he needs this moisturizing formula that increases razor glide and delivers a smooth, comfortable shave.”

Now if you are looking to save a little money, you can sign up as a Preferred Customer – that way you save 20%.  This is a great way to get your Arbonne at a discount ALWAYS!  If you would like that option, you can use my consultant number to become a Preferred Client.

That number is:  16237841  :)

And whether you sign up as a Preferred Client or not, please “like” my Arbonne Facebook page:

Joan Merrell, Independent Consultant – Arbonne International

Inbox Dollars – Get Paid Cash!

  Since everyone’s mind seems to be on saving money during this season of spending, I wanted to share about a fun program that can get you a little extra spending money … just for reading emails, taking surveys and searching the web.

Now I know, you’ve probably already seen many of these programs online, and may have tried a few out just to see how they worked.  Maybe you expected to get tons of cash, etc. … but were disappointed with the results, with nothing to show for it all but a cluttered inbox advertising products and services you would never use.

First of all, don’t expect to get rich using any of the programs like this.  Common sense should tell you that you will never be able to use these type of programs as a way to replace the income from your job … or free your husband up from his job.  But this type of program CAN get you a little extra spending money, and it does add up fairly quickly.

How do I use Inbox Dollars?  Mainly, I read and confirm emails sent to my email address.  It’s really easy – click on the purple oval at the bottom of the email that says, “Confirm Paid Email.”  Then another window opens with the offer.  I just close the window if it’s something in which I am not interested.  That happens a lot … I am pretty picky about the offers.  But just by confirming that you got the email, you get .02 – OK, I know that’s not much, but it adds up.  Just for clicking on a link button.  Easy peasy!

Here’s how it works (straight from the Inbox Dollars website):

 “Advertisers pay InboxDollars® to reach consumers like you. Through programs ranging from paid online surveys to PaidEmail®, InboxDollars® shares the revenue we receive from advertisers with our Members. Your time and participation are valuable, so join now to be rewarded!”

You can earn money by:

  • Reading emails
  • Taking short surveys
  • Watching short videos from advertisers
  • Playing games online
  • Searching the web using the Inbox Dollars search tool

In our household, every little bit helps … and it’s nice to have a little extra spending money.  All for things that are easy to do, don’t take much time, and are things I would probably be doing online anyway.

You can click on the picture/link at the top of the page for more information about Inbox Dollars.

Giveaway – Holiday Spice Candle

Giveaway for Arbonne's Spice holiday candle

Giveaway for Arbonne’s Spice holiday candle


So here we have the second giveaway on this blog – an Arbonne Spice holiday candle.  I love these candles; they burn forever, and they are soy candles so they burn very clean.  They smell great and make your house smell wonderful.

This giveaway starts today, and will end next  Monday, December 15th.  So use the Rafflecopter entry form below, and make your holidays just a little more festive with a great candle – full of the spicy sweet smells of Christmas.  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


National “Roof Over Your Head” Day


National Roof Over Your Head Day – show your thankfulness.

Today is national “Roof Over Your Head” Day, and I (for one) am glad that I have a roof over my head.  When there are lots of things that go wrong and there is a great deal of stress about circumstances, we (I) need to stop and be thankful that we (I) have our basic needs supplied.

Just to bring you up to speed:  Not only am I still looking for work, after being “let go” about 2 months ago from a job that I loved, but a week ago the transmission went out on my beloved PT Cruiser.  I may have mentioned her; her name is Veronica, and she is a 2006 bright (solar) yellow Route 66 Street Cruiser.  She is supposed to be ready to be picked up from the shop today.  This is the longest the two of us have ever been apart.

Now, with money getting tight and Christmas coming, and then Veronica’s transmission going out and Christmas coming, there has been a great deal of stress.  How do you pay your bills when you have no job, deal with an additional humongous bill for a new transmission, and plan for Christmas without becoming a Scrooge?  Yikes!  Honestly, only prayer and faith is keeping me going at this point.  But God is gracious and faithful, and we are making it through.  It’s amazing to think about, and very humbling at the same time.

So I choose to be thankful for what I have, instead of dwelling on what I don’t.  I choose to lift my thoughts above my circumstances, and choose to be thankful for the basics that I often take for granted.  And having a roof over my head is one of those basics.  Sometimes we just need a reminder to look up.  And smile.

I choose thankfulness!

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Thrifty Roundup – 5 Money-Saving Links

Thrifty Holidays

Saving money at the holidays


In the spirit of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – in which, on both counts, I do not participate – here are a few choice sites/posts from other bloggers that you might find helpful this time of year.   We all would love to have a less stressful holiday with less strain on our wallets and bank accounts; it just takes a little information and foresight.

You can also check out my recent post, 4 Ideas To Make Planning For Christmas 2015 Easier … and One Tip To Help Out With Christmas 2014, but a word of warning:  this post is geared mostly toward planning for NEXT Christmas, with just one tip you can use for this Christmas.  Freaky, I know … can’t I just take one holiday at a time?!?!?!  Well, I am all about planning ahead … this post really does that!  :)

TA DA!  Here they are … some choice posts to help with thrifty holidays:

10 Best Gifts for Men, Under $30 - this is from the blog of Sara Titus, where “saving money never goes out of style.”

10 Smart Ways to Save on the Holidays - from Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less

My Favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals - again, from Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less.  This one is hot off the presses!

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money on Groceries - from Snail Pace Transformations

There you have it; hope that these can help folks in some way at this time of year.  We all want to keep a little more cash in our pockets, and it can be done … with a little bit of planning!  :)

Giveaway for Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil

Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil

Giveaway for Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil

(Sorry for the bad picture!)

So here we have yet another giveaway – my first on this particular blog, in fact.  This product is from a FabFitFun box that I received a couple days ago, and posted about yesterday - FabFitFun Box!

So since this is a product for frizzy hair, and I don’t have that particular problem with my hair – I have other issues, let me assure you – I decided to have a giveaway, and see if I could get it into the hands of one lucky reader of this blog.

You can enter starting today, and this giveaway will last until next Friday – when a winner will be chosen.

So … here we are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This entry was posted in Family.

FabFitFun Box!


FabFitFun box

FabFitFun box – unopened and waiting

I recently signed up for one of those “beauty box” subscription things … the kind you see all over the place, in other people’s blogs, etc.  I had been thinking how much fun it would be to get a package of goodies in the mail every so often, and be able to try some new products.  Well, I just got my first box o’ goodies from FabFitFun … it came in the mail yesterday … and it was a lot of fun!

Lots of neat treats

Lots of neat treats from FabFitFun – goodies galore!

This box is the “Best of FFF Box 2014” – some of their all-time favorite, “must have” products from seasons past.

Well, the grand total for all the items – if I had paid retail – would be $251.95.  But I got them for just $49.95

My two favorite items

My two favorite items – the apron and the peds!

My two favorite products?  The adorable retro apron from Jessie Steele, and the Great Soles Pink Ribbon Ballet Barre Ped.  This apron is so cute, and I love the vintage design.  I am so wearing this next week when I cook stuff for Thanksgiving – even if no one is there to see me wearing it!  And the socks are very cute (they have the little strap across the instep, reminiscent of ballet slippers) and very comfy – I have a tendency to put on socks when my feet get cold, but then get irritated with the socks and slip them off.  I have a hard time finding socks that don’t feel too thick, and these are nice and light feeling.  I wore them last night after my shower, and I almost forgot I had them on.  They kept my feet warm, but didn’t bother me in the least.  The apron retails for $30, and the socks retail for $12.

So here is a run down of the other products I received:

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