My 2017 Bucket List

Every January I found myself setting New Year resolutions only to find a few months later they were a distant memory. Every year the resolutions had reducing debt and losing weight. Every December I found myself with extra credit card debt from Christmas shopping and a few pounds heavier due to the Holiday treats.

This year I decided to try something different. I imagined that I received word that I only had a year left to live. I know it is morbid, but think about it. What have you always wanted to do or where have you wanted to go? You may think you would go travel the world and quit your job, but would you really? I knew that with two kids I would not want to leave my husband with a crazy about of debt.

So, here is my bucket list. I still have a few things to complete for the year, but I have made progress.

My 2017 Bucket List in no particular order:

1. Go to Disneyland (Completed in January)
2. Find a new job that allows be to spend more time with my children (Completed in March)
3. Go Camping with my family
4. See the Hollywood sign
5. Attend a cooking class
6. Attend a Bible Study
7. Hang out at the pool with my kids (Completed in June)
8. Take my mother and grandmother to high tea (Completed in Feb.)
9. Get a tattoo
10. Run a Half Marathon
11. Drink wine at a Vineyard in California
12. Hangout in Crab Island in Destin with my family (Completed in July)
13. Go to a Drive-in movie
14. Got to Glen Rose Safari with my kids
15. Spend an evening driving around looking at Christmas lights
16. Take my children to volunteer
17. Watch my son’s baseball game (Completed in March)

As of October 1, I still have quite a bit to complete, but I have completed a ton on the list as well. The crazy thing is that in an effort to complete this list, I changed my life. I tried to focus on time with family as opposed to achieving some crazy unattainable goal. In the process of checking off the bucket list boxes, I have changed not only my life, but also my families.

I am looking forward to completing the list, and I can’t wait to start working on my 2018 list!

Value Purchases and Purchase Regrets for September

I am really trying to spend with purpose in our new found debt free life. If I am going to spend our hard earned dollars on a product or service it MUST provide value to our family. This is new to me, and I have to be very frank… it is a challenge. I am so programmed to make trips to Target and purchase random crap. I never took the time to stop and ask myself what value this provides before I raced to the checkout with it.

Since it is month end, I took a few minutes to review my purchases this month. I narrowed down the top 5 Purchase Regrets and 5 Purchase Values for the month in an effort to help me realize what is important and what it not so important!

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 purchases I regret and value for the month of September!


1. Haicoo One Pieces Solid Floral Pin Up Sexy Women Front Strappy Cross Swimwear from Amazon Cost:  $6.50

My sister cam in from Houston, and we went to the pool. She had a super cute swimsuit on that she purchased from Amazon for under $10. I tried it on, and I found myself ordering one in my size (or what I thought was my size). When it arrived from China, it was definitely too small. I can’t return it. So, Goodwill just got another item. Yes, it was only $6.50, but that could have been a Starbucks drink or glass of wine at dinner.

2. & 3. Westin Galleria Dallas Hotel Night & Room Service

Cost: $261.76 (in room dining $156.18)

We decided to have a staycation in Dallas with my sister from Houston for my niece’s birthday. She was scheduled to have her party in Houston, but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. They came to Dallas instead. While I do not regret the staycation, I do regret the $156.18 we spent on in room dining for breakfast. Our kids would have loved going to the Corner Bakery just has much, and it would have been WAY cheaper. I love room service, but next time I think I will save that for a relaxing night in a hotel without kiddos. I also regret not bunking up with my sister. Yes, my hotel was only $89 a night due to my employee discount, but I really only slept in it. I did not hang out in it, and she had an extra bed. I could have saved $89.

4. Pokemon Trading Cards

Cost: $29.99

My son is in Kindergarten, and the Pokemon craze is in full effect. We were having some behavioral challenges with him in school. We decided to set up a Pokemon reward system. If he did well, he received a card. If he was not good in school, he would have a card taken away. My regret was that I told him about this before I looked into how much Pokemon cards really cost. Before I could even search the web for a Pokemon deal, he had a sticker. He was demanding his card, and a deal is a deal. I found myself a Walmart buying a pack that evening so I could give him a card. Yes, he only received one card, and I saved the other cards in the pack for the next time he received a sticker. However, I later found I could snatch a pack off ebay or Facebook marketplace for less than $10.

5. Papa John’s

Cost: $68.14

We host family dinners at our house each Sunday. On this Sunday, we decided not to cook and ordered Pizza instead. Not only did I order way too much pizza, but I realized later we could have prepared a healthy dinner and saved money.


1. New Balance running shoes  

Cost: $108.25

I am a runner, and I am currently training for a half marathon. I need good quality shoes to stay injury free and achieve my goal. If you are a runner, you know you should replace your shoes every few months. Well, I had mine for over 3 years. I know, it is awful. They started to literally fall apart, and I knew it was time. I went to RunOn, and they helped me get fitted for new shoes. Purchase success!

2. North Texas Jellystone Park camping trip

Cost: $184.84

So, this was a tipsy purchase. I am not going to lie. We were at a friend’s house and somehow my 2017 Bucket List got brought up. They asked what I have left on my list to complete, and I mentioned camping. They jumped up and expressed they were thinking about going to this camp ground in November. Next thing you know we were online booking our cabins for the weekend. So, it is official! We are going camping as a family with friends in November. I could not be more excited, and it is totally going to be worth the experience… at least I hope so.  If not, this one may make the purchase regrets list in November.

3. The Crape Myrtle Trails Run

Cost: $50.71

I am training for the Half, and long run Saturday can be just play dreadful.  So, when my son sent home a flyer about his school hosting a 5k/10k I was interested. A portion of the proceeds of the run went to the school, and it was walking distance from our house. Win! Win! My son signed up for the 5k and I ran the 10k. We had a great time, and I was able to spend some quality time with my son away from the electronics. I remember attending fun runs with my Dad when I was his age, and I am honored to be carrying on that healthy family tradition with my kiddos.

4. The Minimalist Tour

Cost: $79.66

To say The Minimalist changed my life is really an understatement. After watching Minimalism: A Documentary on the Important Things, I was inspired to change my life. I convinced my husband to sell our house, sold a TON of stuff in our house, hired a financial trainer, and got us out of over $300,000 worth of debt! I listen to their podcast weekly and find they encourage me to lead a more meaningful life. I do not consider myself a minimalist, but I hope that as I continue my journey I will slowly become one. When they announced they were coming to my city on tour, I knew I had to go. November 4th I will have the opportunity to meet my mentors in person. I can’t wait.

5. Silver Thai Cuisine Restaurant with family

Cost: $56.50

Going out to eat and spending money on food has been one of my biggest regrets of the month. However, this dinner was an exception to the rule. I was craving Thai food one Saturday, and my family was along for the ride. After a comical no service experience at a new Thai restaurant, we left (without eating), and headed to a Thai restaurant in another town 15 minutes away. Not only did we have the best service and food, we had such a great family conversation. There was no phones or tablets out. We just goofed off together over an excellent meal. I enjoyed that meal so very much, and I can full heartedly say it was worth every penny!