Iggles Read Harry Potter!

17 Aug

A break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you extreme nerdiness. Some acquaintances from the IGGPPC and I are going to be reading the Harry Potter series at roughly the same time. I thought I’d put up my reading schedule in case anyone wanted to read along!

The goal: to finish all 4100 pages of the series in one month. We begin August 19th and I hope to wrap, after 30 days of reading, on September 17th!

How are you going to pull it off? By reading an average of 137 pages a day. This is ambitious for me, even when reading youth fiction, because I’m by no means a fast reader.

The sched:

August 21st: finish Sorcerer’s Stone
August 23rd: finish Chamber of Secrets
August 26th: finish Prisoner of Azkaban
September 1st: finish Goblet of Fire
September 7th: finish Order of the Phoenix
September 12th: finish Half Blood Prince
September 17th: finish Deathly Hollows

I’ll be posting a little about it here, but if you’re really interested, you should follow my Twitter feed!

#nobuyzone weeks 9 + 10

10 Aug

Hello there! I haven’t forgotten about you or my challenge – my summer is just getting crazier and crazier. I just got back from a week-long trip where I put 2,321 miles on my car. Whew! One more weekend away in front of me and then hopefully some down time until the end of September. I need it!

Successes and failures are a little spotty since I didn’t write anything down, but here we go:

1) I bought books last week, which is a fail, but I paid $1.80 which I think is a win, and I bought them consciously which is a BIG win. When I’m at used bookstores/antique shops, I usually find something by Margaret Atwood (they jump out at me, I swear) and I keep her books forever. The other was a $.75 copy of Agatha Christie’s Then There Were None, which ROCKED. Best cheap paperback score ever.

2) ENORMOUS WIN. I have decided that the Field Notes planner is probably not going to work for me next year because I have just been using my planner’s full calendar spread too much and the fauxdori isn’t going to be for me, unfortunately. I just looked at Erin Condren’s website and talked myself out of purchasing $115 worth of stuff I can do without when, in a month or so, I can hit up Staples or Office Max and buy something for less than $20. This is big for me, because if I had gone through with that big purchase, I would have had to have called this experiment a failure.

3) Sort of fail: I bought an album after hearing a new artist at a music festival last weekend. I don’t buy a ton of music and I never really laid out what the rules were concerning it. Probably a fail, but $8 to support a great artist is a fail I’m willing to deal with.

This experiment has done me a world of good even if I have purchased a little bit more than I thought I would. Now, onward to week 11!

#nobuyzone week 8

27 Jul

Week eight was great! And terrible! Check it out:


1) Celebrated my husband’s 30th birthday in style. I didn’t think about it when I started this challenge, but he and I switched from gifts to experiences a while back for holiday giving. Last year we went to the baseball hall of fame, next year both of our birthdays will get pooled moneywise to take a trip to Scotland!

2) I recruited a new member to the IGGPPC (pen pal club). Hi Sarah! (Not sure why I listed this here, but she reads the blog and I’m excited!)

3) I got rid of several more articles of clothing and have plans to alter a couple more. I’m keeping track of what I get rid of so that if some emergency or special event arises, I can weigh a future clothing purchase against the clearing out I’ve done.


1) I ended up using the Barnes and Noble gift card on myself. I signed up for a fun pen pal project where participants write letters as though they were from regency era England. Though I am a history AND literature nut, I had unfortunately never read the works of Jane Austen, upon which much of this project is going to be built. So I did pick up a hard copy of Austen’s six novels and one novella as I think I will want them for reference. I could file this under the allowances I gave myself for pen pals. Either way, it was a smart buy and I resisted the many temptations of B&N, found my book, and got the heck out of there. So that’s sort of a win!

2) Our cars are going to need some major work in the coming months. I just spent $500 on a new muffler and my tires are finally going. Husband’s car needs some big work too. What makes this a bigger fail is that I had forgotten to have the tires rotated my last few oil changes, which caused some uneven wear GREATLY felt now that the tire tread is low. This is totally my fault, but in my defense: a) I’m 15k miles over on those tires anyway so they do need replacing, b) we moved and threw off my usually very responsible car care groove, and c) I go to a cheapo discount oil change place instead of my very kind former mechanic that would have caught the problem.

The plan is to, on the first weekend the husband and I have together at home (in forever), to drive up to the Sioux Falls Costco and see if getting a membership will save us a bunch on tires for both vehicles. We’re guessing yes. Prepare yourself for a lot of future struggles with tempting Costco things in quantities for which I have no need. Ha!

Okay, that was a long one. I don’t blame you if you need this:

TL;DR: This was a week with bigger downs than ups, but I still feel pretty on track!

Changing the rules.

21 Jul

I was talking to my sister recently about my shopping ban and she said that one of her favorite things about challenges like this is seeing how everyone customizes it to their own goals.

I thought about that again today when I looked at my closet (after seeing a tank top from one of my favorite indie bands online, to be honest). I didn’t sort through my closet before starting this challenge and, while most of my clothing serves and suits me, I have a few things I’m hanging on to for the wrong reasons.

So today I changed my “absolutely no clothing unless job or weight loss” to a “one out, one in” policy. I say “one out, one in” and not the other way around, because I want the dismissal of the garment to come first. So today, two crop tops (because when am I ever going to wear crop tops?), a too-full skirt, a pair of jeans, and a t-shirt went into the donate pile, and one Ballroom Thieves tank top is on its way to me.

Did I fail my shopping ban? I don’t think so. Realistically, I’m going to have one new article of clothing I wear all the time and I’m getting rid of five that I never wear. I think that I’m being more realistic now in reference to clothing, and I’m still doing a bang up job at walking past the women’s section in Target.

Things that won’t change because they are my kryptonite: no book buying, no unnecessary office supply buying, no technology, no decorative homewares, not unnecessary kitchen supplies.

What do you think? Am I still on track?

#nobuyzone week 7

19 Jul

Lucky number 7!

1) Success: Even though it meant spending a tiny bit of money (literally $1), I count my Spoonflower book of swatches a success. It lowers the chance that I’ll buy something that won’t work out and then it will sit wasted. And if I never order? Then I’m out a dollar. Win.

2) Success: Picnic for dinner! Last week in Omaha, I was unmotivated to go out into the world for dinner, so I grabbed about $9 worth of (awesome/terrible) fast food on the way home and regretted it. This week, I challenged myself to take that same nine bucks and put it toward a healthier grocery purchase!

I ended up at the Whole Foods hot bar which means, you guessed it, I overspent. By about $4. I still count this as a success because my dinner was crazy healthy, delicious, and it was less than I would have spent on my favorite healthy restaurant meal in Omaha.

3) As this posts, I’m traveling. The Geek Girl Brunch is going to be a win because even if I end up going shopping with them after the meal, they’re headed to Barnes and Noble and I still have a $10 gift card* from Christmas. The rest of the weekend is food and family, so no big risks there.

Hope you’re having a pleasant Sunday!

* I failed here and forgot to use my gift card after bringing it all that way with me. So the new goal for it is to use it to buy a gift or IGGPPC supplies and not something to keep for myself since I already got that. I was disappointed, but it’s going to work out okay.