Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Goals

We have so many goals moving into the new year, so much we would like to accomplish, so many new things to dive into - Where do we begin!?

Personal Goals
1. Begin and stick with a serious budget - This will take a lot of effort on all fronts.  We build a budget each year, but sticking to it and all it entails will be the ultimate challenge.
2. Pay off my car - This explains itself.  If we can accomplish #1, this one shouldn't be to hard.
3. Meal prep - This should save us money if done right, and should help with my next goal as well.
4. Lose weight - Not just weight in general, I want to finish losing any lingering weight to get me to my goal weight.  Since I haven't been on a scale in a month, I don't know how much that is yet.  But I will weigh in on the first and we will get this party started!
5. Pass the CPA - This by far is the most important of the personal goals, it also explains itself.

Farm Goals
1. Grow - We plan to add more chickens to our flock, along with letting the ducks hatch a few ducklings.  If all goes to plan we will add about 6 new chickens and any ducks that come along.
2. Diversify - This year we will be expanding our livestock by adding goats to the farm.  Dairy goats to be specific.  Research is still underway and I am writing out a grant request as we speak, so keep your fingers crossed that this goes smoothly!
3. Fencing & Buildings - With the goats comes to need for fencing around the entire property, as well as a cross-fence to section off a back yard.  It will also bring additional buildings to our land.  I would like to build a larger coop/run area that has a goat house built in. 
4. Vegetable garden - We will give this a second try, year one was a bust, so hears to second chances!

This is a lot, but I can't ever do things to easy way.  So I will do my best to keep everyone up to date and keep this blog posted on all of our accomplishments and growth over the next year!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our Country Castle

So how did this city girl wind up living in her very own country castle?  I'll spare you the sappy love story for another day - fast forward to the last year.
When I moved into the house he was renting when we got married I was in for an eye-opener.  The house was west of the city and literally out in a field.  We had cows in our backyard that announced the cold front anytime it came in, turkeys that thought they could roost on my once garage-kept car, and spiders... OMG don't get me started on the spiders.  We didn't have a concrete driveway, we had well water that left a sandy residue on all of our dishes, and it wasn't out of the ordinary for the house to shake when a strong wind came "rolling down the plain".  It was time to find our permanent home.
It took us about two months to find it.  We looked at new houses in nice neighborhoods, we looked at old houses in okay neighborhoods, and we even looked at super fixer-uppers in...well...neighborhoods.  However we determined fairly quickly that my husband was not a neighbor loving homeowner.  Not because he's doesn't love people - my husband LOVES people, he majored in communications, the man makes a new best friend everywhere he goes!  He is just one of those self-proclaimed "I want to be able to pee in my own backyard" kind of men.  Anyway, we found a handful of places that were out in the country, but sketchy as all get out - our realtor was running out of options, and patience I'm sure...
Enter Craigslist - that's right - we found our dream home on Craigslist.  We had taken a break from looking after rejecting everything house thrown our way, then on a Friday afternoon I received a text message from our realtor with a link to a craigslist ad.  I had the same reaction you did - Really?!  Expecting to see an overpriced worn-out home that is typical of the area, I was shocked at the pictures and the description attached.  This house was perfect.  It had literally everything we had been looking for in a house - in essence it was our dream home! The home we thought we would never find given our long list of wants and our short amount of resources.  This was it.  I forwarded the text on to my new husband, trying not to get my hopes up.  His response - "Set up an appointment"
It all went quickly from there. We went and saw the house, met the owners, and made our offer - they countered, we countered, and they accepted.  All in ONE DAY! The owners were from my husbands home town, they knew a lot of the same people.  They were praying people, and for the next month as we got closer to closing that's what we all did - we prayed.  It was meant to be.
Growing up I never imagined living my fairytale anywhere outside of the city, but here it is, my dream home - my very own castle with my very own prince charming - out in the country, where we were meant to be.

Gone Country

A little over a year ago I married God's match for me - I'm sure there was some laughter when He put us together.  A country boy, from small town America, would marry a city girl.
Let's rewind a bit.
I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in central Oklahoma.  To anyone from this state, I am considered a city girl.  Not city to say, New York standards, but city nonetheless.  There was a yard, neighborhood kids, large public schools, traffic, you name it.  I didn't have to go further than a mile from my house for anything I could possibly need. 
Fast forward to today.
I live in a ranch style farmhouse on the outskirts of a small town just east of "the city".  We have 5 acres, deer that frequent our back yard, we can't see our closest neighbors, and traffic.. only when a school bus or a tractor holds up the main road into town.  Oh - and I have to travel 30 minutes to the closest anything.
Welcome to the country!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thrifty Thursday (A Day Late...)

So I procrastinated...a bit.  But instead of just not making my post like I normally would do, I decided better late than never!. 

This year marks the start of several new themes, and here is the first one.  Every other Thursday here at Twenty-Five Plus will now be Thrifty Thursday. A day to post ideas on saving money here and there and making a more efficient and profitable home.

This week I'd like to talk about small savings goals. This last Christmas season I found myself scrounging for extra cash to purchase Christmas presents.  As is the case every year, the holidays just kind of snuck up on me.  So this year I will be prepared.  I stumbled across this savings goal over at Life as You Live It and decided this year would be a great one to give it a whirl. 

52 Week Savings Challenge
For every week of the year, you deposit the corresponding dollar amount into a jar.  Then, after 52 weeks you have saved $1,378 - plenty enough to get Christmas shopping done for all your friends and family! So go ahead - give it a try, what's a couple dollars a week?
Special thanks to Life As You Live It for the photo.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year - It's a New Me

Every year we gather with friends and family to celebrate a year passing and a new year coming, and during this gathering we brag about all of the things we plan to change during the new year...every year most of us fail...

Nevertheless - I come into this new year as a new person, I have a new name, I have a new "status", I have a new outlook on life and my future, and I have a new opinion on New Year's Resolutions.  So, the wait is over, here are my resolutions for 2014:

1. Typical weight loss goal: Lose 20 pounds.  I honestly would love to lose less, but 20 not only seems reasonably, it also puts me right in the middle of the healthy BMI category.  This year I'm not only losing weight for myself.  I'm losing weight for my future; because after all, they say you have a better chance of conceiving when you are a healthy weight!

2. Typical financial goal: Pay off credit card debt.  I have to say I don't really have much, that is, compared to the national average.  But for my family, any amount is too much so this year I will pay it off - as quickly as possible.

3.  Get organized: I am surrounded by clutter, and my poor husband had a huge eye-opener when I moved in.  Cleaning and organization just aren't my thing, they never have been.  But this year I will organize my home and I will make it a comfortable place for him and I to come home to every night!

So, this morning I joined the local gym with a friend of mine from work, I have a clean kitchen and most of our laundry is done and put away, and I have a healthy dinner ready to put in the oven when my husband gets home.  So far so good :)

What are your resolutions and how do you plan on sticking to them this year?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Newlywed Life

Well we are one month into our lifelong journey - and I must say it's been a whirlwind.  You hear and read all over the place about the ups and downs of the first year of marriage, but if the first month is any representation of the first year then I think we will be just fine :)
We've started getting back into most of our routines, along with adding all the new ones.  Really, who knew cooking every night could actually be FUN?!  I say that now... but I'm already getting to the point that I'm running out of things to make without being to repetitive - we'll see where that takes us!
Budgeting is a new part of life that takes some getting used to, and as you all know, living in the country has been an adjustment all of its own.  But at the end of every day, good days and bad, I am still going to sleep next to my best friend, nothing gets better than that.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bring on the Turkey's

It's time for another episode of Tosha in the country. In this months episode I introduce you to our newest animal/pest occupant - the Turkey.

Jeff came home one day to the sight of these lovely creature roosting in the back of his El Camino. They ran away after much chasing - only for him to find they had returned the next day. 

As sweet and innocent as these silly birds look, it was the last straw when I witnessed all 4 roosting on Miss Priss! The landlord took the appropriate measures and now we are without turkeys again. Oh the life of a country girl...