Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This week has been a little rough.  Aside from the fact that fevers and coughing have spread through our house like wildfire and I'm beginning to feel a bit like Florence Nightingale, we're also going through a rough bit financially right now.  Call it a combination of unexpected expenses, a shortage of working hours for Hubby, and being behind on a bill or two...or whatever you like.  The point is, things have to change around here.

Hubby and I took a good look at our finances and realized in order to continue to send our girls to our local Christian school and to get out of debt as we'd like to, we need to make some sacrifices.  Even with those, it's possible that Hubby may have to take up a third job.  This is a scenario I'd love to avoid if at all possible, but we may not be able to get around it.

All this to say that there will be a few things I will have to do differently in the blogging world, too.

For one thing, there may be less reviews after a while.  For now, I still have several reviews that are in draft, so they won't disappear completely at first.  Once those run out, though, I'm going to have to focus more on doll photography and perhaps a thrift store haul every once in a while.  Spending on extras like dolls and doll accessories is going to have to be limited to the bare minimum until further notice.

I also may not be on Blogger quite as frequently after this week.  We've had a wonderful deal on our Internet for the last 2 years, but that deal is up, which means a $20 price increase per month.  We've made the decision to try going without Internet for a while, just until we can catch up a bit.

This doesn't mean I'll disappear completely.  I'll be able to check my Internet and do my blogging from my parents' house.  I just may not be able to respond to comments or emails as quickly as I usually do.  Please be patient with me as I figure all of this out and find my new routine.

Another change you might notice is that I'm going to have to downsize my collections a bit.  I've come to realize that I've been rather selfish in my collecting.  It's been all about me, when my first priority should be my family.  I've never blown $100 on a doll without telling anyone, but I have spent a little here and a little there until suddenly, I've spent $100 over the course of a month or two.  I've really got to work on this.

I know I had a post about this at the beginning of this year, and I was really good for a while before slipping back into the old habits again.  This time around, I hope to stick to it like I should.

In January, I will most likely be listing some of my dolls on eBay.  I'm hoping to start with some of them that I haven't bonded with as much at first.  And don't worry.  Tess, Maggie, Belle, Emma, and most of the regulars will be sticking around.  However, my LIV dolls, Moxie Teenz, and some of my Beauty and the Beast dolls will most likely be on the chopping block.  I will also most likely have to part with my Jess doll.  It makes the most sense...I haven't had a chance to develop her story yet, and she was an extra purchase that I didn't need.  I'd rather part with her than one of my established dolls.

Please pray for wisdom for Hubby and I as we try to cut out some extras and make some changes.  It's not going to be easy, but it needs to be done.  I think it could be a great opportunity to reexamine some of my priorities and get back to the basics for a while, too.  We have so much in this country that we really don't need.  Everything is temporal, and being too attached to our things only leads to heartache and emptiness.  (Says the super-mature woman who looked around the room at her dolls last night, trying to decide which ones to sell, and dissolved into tears at the thought.) :}  I'm not perfect by far, and I'm so thankful that the Lord is patient with me despite my flaws and my close attachment to little vinyl people and ponies. ;)

I'll keep you guys posted on our progress.

Oh, and speaking of progress, I suppose I should give a weight loss update as it's been a while.  I kind of hit a plateau for a while (and even gained a little bit back), so that's been a bit discouraging.  I did keep 10 pounds off, and that's something I can be proud of.  I know I can do better, though, and I'm going to continue doing my best to watch my portion sizes and control my sweet cravings.  Unfortunately, I never made goal weight (although at one point I was just 3 pounds away!), which means I'm still paying for Weight Watchers...and that's one of the extras we're cutting.  At least I have the knowledge and the tools to continue on by myself.  I've lost weight on my own with Weight Watchers before.  It won't be easy, but I suppose I can do it again. :)

Okay, I guess that's about all for now.  Sorry this post isn't as happy and uplifting as my posts normally are.  Just wanted to make you aware of some of the changes.

I don't foresee us having to continue on in such a drastic manner forever.  We just need to get down to the "bare necessities" (brownie points for a random Disney reference) for a while until we can get a little more financially stable.


AGMarket ;) said...

Hello! :) I am praying for you and your hubby, I hope all goes well and gets resolved. Your reviews are amazing, but I completly understand. Which 18 inch dolls will you be selling? Lets just say, I have my eye on a couple ;).

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for your prayers, AGMarket. :) I'm not sure which 18" dolls I will be selling, aside from Jess/Ava. I'd like to start with some of my boxed Beauty and the Beast dolls and some of my other doll lines before seriously looking at my 18" dolls. I won't really know until after Christmas (I decided I didn't want to try to deal with eBay shipping 2 weeks before Christmas). :} I'll be sure to keep you posted, though.

AGMarket ;) said...

Ok. :) Thank you! :) Praying that everything goes well for your Holidays!

Kath said...

totally understand your changes. We retired in Jan of this year and getting only 1/3 of what we were before.. So I made a decision that we were not going to eat out anymore.. So this year we have only eaten out like 7 times. It was so freeing to make that decision. We were in the habit of eating out at least once a day. I have cut back on other things too and it feels so good. It makes you stop and think about all the material things you have and don't need. Good luck with this.. I call it my attitude adjustment.. Once I changed that it felt so good.

Abilene Lilac said...

I'll be praying for you. Whatever happens, know that God always has a plan. Your reviews have been a blessing to me-you are such a reliable source! I also enjoy your movie reviews, which I suppose will also become less frequent. I'll be keeping an eye out for your sales. God bless!

All AG said...

I'm hoping you get back on track! I pray that you will have a great Christmas. I wish you the best!

<3 All AG

Carly :") said...

I'll pray for you and your Hubby :}

<3 Carly <3

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much, everyone. :) Your prayers and your encouragement are greatly appreciated.

Kath, thank you for sharing your experiences. It's funny you should mention the word "freeing". There are times when I feel so bogged down by "stuff" and movies and the Internet and all of those extras. While it's always painful to give up the things you enjoy, there is something very freeing about letting it go and just trusting the Lord to work out the details. Not saying my attitude is constantly going to be that way, but it's something I hope to be able to hold onto. ;)

Abilene Lilac, I'm glad you've found my movie reviews helpful. As you guessed, there will most likely be less of them for a while. Thankfully, my family has a lot of movies on DVD, so while I may not be able to do reviews of movies newly released to the theaters as often, maybe I can select a few of my favorite DVDs to review. :)

Thanks again for all of the sweet comments. It was nice to come back to so many messages of encouragement. :)

Jen said...

Oh dear! I hope your holiday goes smoothly and things work out for the best. I will definitely be thinking of you and wishing you the best!

Casey said...

Very sorry to hear how rough things are going for you. I'll be praying for you guys.

Allenoel said...

I've only started following your blog within the last month or so and look forward to your posts.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and may the Lord continue to bless you on your journey.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much, gals. Now that the initial decision and resulting tears have passed, I'm actually doing okay. I know there will be days where it's really tough, but at this point I'm all right. It's funny, I was in Walmart last night, and there were two times where I saw couples who were well dressed and doing their shopping together...and nagging each other something awful. It made me so thankful for a husband who loves and cherishes me. I'd rather have financial issues and a good marriage relationship than have all the money in the world and a bickering, unhappy relationship. Not saying that those people are always like stress does definitely take its toll. Still, it was a good reminder of what I have to be thankful for. :)

mystrygirl87 said...

Sending thoughts and prayers your way! I hope things take a turn for the better and that the interim isn't too stressful.

Your post reveals such a determined and positive attitude about the whole situation; it's a really good reminder about what the important things are in life.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, mystrygirl87. I appreciate it.

And I have to admit my thoughts aren't always as positive and determined as they were in this post (if only!). Thankfully, God can use us even when we're not perfect. Good thing, too! ;)