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Just a little update on my life and most of the things that I have going on at any point in time. :) So many things, so little time!! I...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Container Garden 2016 - Seedlings and things

I am starting my container garden on time this year!! Even though I do wish I would have started even earlier, I have lots growing in my sun room right now!! Take a look...

Last year I was much better at keeping track of what I grew. This year I figured what the hell... Just plant it and see what happens!! 

The only thing about this approach that may be a concern is the plants needs for certain things. But I figure I could just re-pot them as they get bigger.

This last video was recorded May 22nd.

I started a ton of tomatoes and peppers this year!! I am not sure what I am going to do with them all as of yet. I do not want to grow anything in the backyard because they will not get much sun back there. I have trees and the house blocking the sun for majority of the day. 

The front yard gets sun from noon till about 8-9pm everyday, so I think that is much more sufficient. The front is where I grew all my pots last year and my flowers. I planted Tulip and Daffodil bulbs last year and nothing has come up yet. My Cosmo seeds were eaten by all the birds last year so I will be surprised if they come back on their own.

I am thinking of going ahead and planting out my tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers in the front yard! Once they reach a certain size, of course. I will have to ammend the soil a lot because what is there is absolute trash! I have this huge ugly bush next to my porch that I would really love to chop down! I think it would look great with that gone and sunflowers and tomatoes in its place!

Sounds like a plan to me!

Meanwhile I will continue to grow everything that I have in the sun room and probably may have to get some CFL bulbs to supplement any that may not be getting enough light.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beginning Credit Repair - How I jumped +100pts in 3 months!!

My credit profile is frankly less than stellar. I have actually never had a credit card and after an identity theft incident, student loans, and my own neglect my credit score was in the toilet!!

I just started rebuilding in Jan of this year. (2016) My scores started in the low 500s for all 3 bureaus. I was around 515-530. My goal is to reach 700 by the end of the year and 750 by the end of next!

I have a bunch of student loans which I unfortunately defaulted on to the point I started getting my wages garnished. I had been unaware that my loans were being held by multiple creditors, among other things. I thought I had previously taken care of it but the creditor who held a large sum of my loans snuck up on me!
The garnishment was very substantial!! 15% of my income. As a single mother with 3 kids, this was just not acceptable.

I decided to consolidate my loans because of the garnishment. Consolidating is the fastest way to stop your wages from being garnished. The other option was to enroll in a forgiveness program in which I paid them on a monthly basis and after 5 payments the garnishment would be lifted. After a few more months depending on which plan you sign up for the late payments are removed from your credit report.

Other than that I had 1 judgement for other tuition costs, 1 recent late payment, and 1 collection reporting. The only negative item that shows on all 3 bureau is the judgment. I am currently working to get this removed as I was not notified of this at all. 

The late payment was from a utility company who reports your account every single time you are late! I paid them for 2 months and the account was removed completely. This gave me a significant boost in my scores! +55pts!

The consolidation helped my scores a little but I would have preferred to do the forgiveness program to have all the late payments removed, but alas... +30pts

I then decided to start with a secured card that doesn't do a credit check and went with the OpenSky. Starting balance $200. I used that for a few weeks until I got the itch for a new card.

I went ahead an applied for the Capitol One Secured and was approved with a $50 deposit! Starting balance $200. The next day I applied for the Discover It Secured and was approved for that as well with a $200 balance!

I checked my scores on Credit Karma not too long after this and they showed that I had a very good chance to be approved for the platinum and the quicksilver1. I was skeptical so I did a pre-approval on their site which this time it actually showed that I was approved for the platinum!!

I went ahead and applied and they approved me for a $2,000 limit! Huge difference I must say!!

The next day I applied for the QuickSilver One and was approved for $2,000 as well!! If you ever apply for one of these cards and are approved, apply for the other right away so you don't get hit with 2 triple pulls. I was afraid to push my luck since the limit was a huge jump compared to what I already have and compared to what other people are given when they first start building,

I consolidated my student loans in January, applied for the 3 secured cards in February, and in March I applied for the 2 unsecured Capital One cards.

  • Student Loan Consolidation - Removed current Student loan accounts with recent late payments and created new account with positive history so far. Old late payments from closed loans are still showing but due to the fact that those late payments are 6-7 years old the effect is much less substantial to my score.
  • Opened 1st Secured Card - This I believe opened the door for me to get other cards. I did get a score boost when this posted along with my 1st few payments.
  • Opened 2nd & 3rd Secured Cards
  • Paid Utility on time for 2 months - Doing this removed the account along with the late payment completely. If they are not willing to do this on their own you can try sending a good will letter.
  • Opened up 2 Capitol One cards - The higher limits on these cards definitely help with utilization! They will also help me get better starting limits when applying for other cards in the future.

Whats left to remove from account:
  • Collection Account 
  • Judgment
  • Attempt to have lates from student loans removed with Goodwill letters.
Right now I am working to have the judgment removed from my credit report. The collection I have not decided what I want to do with as of yet. It is from 2010 I believe so I don't have much longer before it ages off. I could also do a pay for delete, but I would not offer them much more than 10% of what is owed.

Not too long ago I knew nothing about credit and I would have never imagined jumping over 100pts in just a few short months! I would love to see how high it jumps once that damn judgment and collection removed!!

Starting Scores 1/16 low 500s All 3
3/16 Credit Karma Transunion: 601, Credit Karma Equifax: 551, Experian: 548

4/16 Credit Karma Transunion: 604, Credit Karma Equifax: 606, Experian: 604
5/3/16 Credit Karma Transunion: 635, Credit Karma Equifax: 638

The Hair Diary and Future apps

I am always working to make something better.

Although my kids, full time job, yoga, gardening, and lampworking have been taking up most of my time currently, I have been working as much as I can to complete the new version of The Hair Diary app for Android and iOS.

I also have an amazing idea for a new app that I will be working on in conjunction with The Hair Diary. I had been having an issue coming up with a name but I think I have it now!!

More on that later as I am not revealing anything anytime soon. But I am working on this and THD. I hope to have THD done soon.

What you can expect from this app:

  • Updated Material Design
  • Completely revamped layout
  • Cloud Data
  • Website login
  • Social Sharing
  • Overall better user experience
Everything in time. I need a vacation so I can really get some work done!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Getting Back into Yoga

Funny thing, at my job we had a yoga class and of course I am all for it having sparingly done yoga here and there over the past 12 years. I started doing it when I was 18 when Inhale with Steve Ross was on Oxygen. I recorded the shows with my DVR and did it every night before I went to bed. I loved it!

I haven't been as consistent with it since then and do it whenever I need to relax or after running or a really hard workout to stretch my muscles. I haven't done it enough to be able to do a proper down dog, split, or anything remotely advanced. I would consider myself somewhere between beginner and moderate in terms of flexibility.

Anyway, I went to these yoga classes at work and the instructor taught the MELT method and Yoga Tune Up! I immediately fell in love!! I have a bad back and issues with my hands from years and years of doing hair. I have slowed down on doing hair significantly but am still having issues.

The melt method you are massaging your hands and feet with these soft or firm balls. They definitely help me to release the tension in the muscles in my hands. The balls are made to massage the fascia and help ease pain caused by repeated motions.

The Tune Up balls do the same thing but for other parts of the body in addition to the hands. The size of the balls change the intensity or deepness of the massage. Tune up has 3 other sizes, that I will probably buy soon, larger than the ones I have pictured. I bought 2 sets of them so that I could have them where ever I am. I carry the pictured set around with me everywhere. As you can see the letters are wearing off because my kids and I use them so much.

I started back doing yoga daily again. I want to build back my strength and flexibility again. I signed up for Daily Burn and so far I am loving the instructor Briohny. The was she explains everything and how smoothly she moves into the poses is just fantastic.

I strive to be as good as she is.

My flexibility issues are in my legs and groin mostly. I can do pretty good back bends, twists, and arm stretches. One of the hardest poses for me is probably Supta Virasana. I can barely lean back in that pose.

Downward Dog I am getting much better with, although I still cant put my feet flat to the floor. I am slowly getting there & learning to accept my bent knees... and working to straighten them!

I have always followed a few yoga youtube channels. YogaYak being my favorite. I recently came across KinoYoga and honestly I am appalled at all the hate that she gets!! They criticize her clothing, her style of yoga, just EVERYTHING!!

I started following her on periscope and love just watching her practice. Her flexibility is ridiculous!!

I want to do Yoga videos(maybe) but I dont think I would be that great to watch lol. Definitely not instructional...

Ughh... Anyway. All this to say Yoga is great! and I am hoping to continue to do it daily and build up my strength and flexibility, as well as finding more inner peace and happiness. :)

I'll talk more about it later.

Friday, May 13, 2016

New Addictions! Lampworking & Programming!!

Everyday I get home from work I have only 2 things on my mind. Lampworking and programming. 

I love programming. I have very logical mind and I love to work out problems and solve all kinds of issues. All day I am just thinking on how I can improve my apps and what new features I can add. I really wish that I had more time to just dedicate myself to it. I am close to being done with a new version of THD. I said before that I would have a new version out a few months ago, however I ended up going into a completely different direction than I originally was. This new version is going to be so much better in so many ways and I just cant wait to complete and release it!

I also have other ideas for other apps as well that I am currently working on. In due time...

More so Lampworking... I absolutely love it!! I have been making so many things and really just trying to find my place in the world. I have been mostly making beads and implosion marbles. I am trying to perfect my flowers on both. I made some murinni as well and attempted some sculptures.

The murrini and the sculptures I do need a little more practice as well as my dot stacking techniques. Other than that I am having so much fun with all of this! There are so many possibilities with glass and it is really exciting to sit down in front of a torch and create something you would never think you would be able to make!!

 My very 1st Goddesss bead!! She is so hot!! I never really liked goddess beads. Why make a naked lady out of glass?? But I decided to go ahead and make her to practice some sculpting skills and wow!! I am in love!! I want to make more!!

 This Pansy turned out pretty great! I wish there were brighter shades of purple and pink available!! It needs a little more work and sparkle, so I will try again! I also need to work on not boiling my glass as I melt it.

Just a few of the flower marbles I have made. 

Made a little wrap bracelet out of a bunch of the beads I am happy with.

Blue and white flower marble. :) 

One of my favorites!

 A little tree bead!

A handful of marbles! 

Blue flower! Blue mushroom! 

A pair of hearts! One for me and one for my little lady! :) 

My Malcolm's first time on the torch! 

 Making a wave bead!

And last but not least here is some of the glass I have bought. Once you start... You will never want to stop! I love lampworking and jewelry making!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Container Garden 2016 - Seedlings & Things

Here are 2 quick videos of what I have growing (and what is not growing) so far this year. I started container gardening 2 years ago. Started with just herbs the 1st year and added a few veggies the 2nd. This year I want to do much more!

Majority of what I have planted have come up beautifully!!! The only thing that I have had a real problem with is the Cilantro. My cilantro I cant get to germinate and I cant get it to grow beyond seedlings when I can! I bought a plant but that will only last for so long before it bolts and goes to seed.

Other than that I had an issue with Aphids and white flies. Because of that I will be keeping the plants inside. I have been spraying with soapy water to combat them and I pruned the crap out of my mint just to get rid of the leaves that were infested with the white fly eggs. I ended up tossing out the brussel sprouts that I had been growing since last year because the aphids  that attacked it! It was disgusting!!

I think I have a handle on it now and I am checking everyday to make sure there are no new eggs. This year I am keeping a spray bottle of soapy water and baking soda on hand at all times to combat the bugs and powdery mildew. Hopefully it will not become an issue like last year.

So far I will be keeping everything indoors as well this year. I am debating on if I want to set up a raised bed in the backyard, but I don't want to deal with the bugs!! lol

I will be updating my worm bin situation soon. I have definitely overfilled it and it is smelling and the worms are eating the food slower than I think they should. I need to redo the environment and I have been stuffing more and more shredded paper in the bin to help it dry out more and more. I would like to do the flow through bin again but have yet to really master it. Last year I ended up with kind of a gnat infestation.... Eww!

I am also going to be making grow bags out of landscape fabric. I think grow bags will be a better option for me since I am doing all containers so far. I don't want my plants to not do well and get root bound from being in the hard plastic pots.

I also bought a few new seeds. I typically avoid determinate tomato plants because I don't like the idea that once they set the fruit they are done. I want them to continuously produce!! But I saw the Red Robin tomatoes that stay really small but produce a shit ton of tomatoes!!! The grow within 30-45 days!! So fast!!

I am really excited about growing those in particular!! I have so many other seeds that I haven't even tried and some that would do best outside. My sun room has turned into a major grow room and I am thinking of adding a lot more with grow lights as well to help them along just in case they are not getting enough sun.

My lettuce and peppermint are doing great so far and I am looking forward to seeing what I can get to grow this year. The seedlings that came up look promising so far and I am pretty excited for a productive season in the container garden!

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