Wednesday, September 28, 2016

28 on the 28th

I wrote a post on my birthday last year, so I thought I would continue the trend this year.  
Today I am 28 years old (28 on the 28th!).  

Here's some things I'm loving:
My amazing husband of almost 4 years
My wonderful family 
My awesome bonus family
Vanilla iced coffee from Chick Fil A
Podcasts and audiobooks
The fact fall weather has FINALLY arrived
My Happy Planner
Premier Jewelry

Things I'm learning:
I'm learning to be content with where I am right now.  I love my life and the people and things in it.  I don't need to rush the future.  God has it all worked out in his timing, not mine!

I'm learning to love myself.  I have always been so very critical of myself- my body and my personality flaws.  I am trying to be healthier, but I need to embrace how I am right now, in addition to trying to better myself.  I also have learned more about my personality and what makes me tick.  It's so enlightening to realize why you are how you are and that there are other people like you!

I am becoming more comfortable with who I am.  I don't let other people and what they say bother me as much now as I did before.  Unlike a lot of people, I am looking forward to the last couple years of my 20s, and moving into my 30s.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Tiny House" Living

I was cleaning and picking up our new little abode last night and was thinking about our "tiny house" living.  There are a few things I've learned in the month we've been living in the travel trailer.

1) We really can get by on way less stuff.  One example is in the kitchen.  Ok, I have to confess, I LOVE dishes and kitchen gadgets.  But I really paired down on our kitchen supplies.  For one thing, we haven't been using an oven or stove.  If I want to cook a proper meal, we go to the house.  Otherwise, we have a toaster oven and a microwave.  Also, we had planned to use paper products while living there, so I didn't pack many plates and bowls.  We haven't bought paper products, but I had two plates and three bowls that were left out from the dishwasher of our apartment when we moved.  So we have been using just those, and hand washing often.  I haven't hated hand washing dishes as much as I thought I would!

2) Clothing:  I worked a lot on my wardrobe when we were living in our apartment.  We didn't have much storage or closet space there either, so I worked to pair down my clothing.  Another reason I downsized was because I was holding on to many items that didn't fit, or that I just didn't like!  There's no reason to have those items around.  I don't quite have a capsule wardrobe yet, but that is my ultimate goal.  So my clothes now fit in the small closet in the bedroom plus a small three drawer plastic bin.  Jason's clothes are mostly in the dresser in the bedroom and a few pieces in the closet.
Shoes and accessories were also paired down.  Though I still have probably 14 or 15 pair of shoes and of course I still have lots of jewelry!  As my part time job, that jewelry makes me money, so it can stick around!

3) Living space: I thought I would quickly get cramped in our living space.  The living room/kitchen/diningroom isn't very big!  It's about the size or smaller than just the living room we had at our apartment.  And the bedroom is tiny!  There is enough space to walk at the foot of the bed, that that's about it!  Thankfully, it's a king size bed tho!  We did upgrade our mattress space from the queen sized bed we had at the apartment.  But I have found that it really is ample space for me, Jason, and our two dogs. Now, if we didn't have a huge area for the dogs to run and play, that would be different, as our boxer Barrett is high energy!  He can get his energy expended outside and be more relaxed inside.  And the bathroom is very small if you have two people in it at once!  I also think Jason would prefer a bigger shower at some point.  But for now, if one person is in the bathroom, it's pretty efficient.  There's more storage space than expected as well.

I really think I can take these insights to heart in our next home.  I have been trending towards a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to stuff.  Now, I will not have bare shelves and bare walls, but my focus is more "what are the things that I LOVE and are useful" not "keep all the things that I kind of like and might be useful one day in the future!"  There's a huge difference.  I have a natural tendency to be a saver, sentimental, a pack rat, or whatever you want to call it, but I truly want to make room for more people and more experiences rather than more stuff.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Itty Bitty Living Space

This is our new home for the next few months.  It's been a long, hard summer so far, but suffice it to say, we are so glad to have the opportunity to live here!  We are basically tiny house living for a while!

We have only been in the camper for a couple weeks now, and I am sure we will learn lots about living in a small space.  I do have to say, that my parent's house is right next door, which is wonderful when we need a break from the smallness, or have a problem (like no A/C last night!) and can go stay at the house. So grateful for them!

So far, so good! We like our little space.  There is lots of storage for our essentials.  We have all our furniture and non-essentials in storage, and just brought what we need for a few months in the camper.  I think these weeks ahead will teach us that we can live with a lot less stuff than we are used to.  This year especially, I have focused on pairing down on the stuff, and keeping only the things that are useful and that I love.  It has been freeing!  I have also made a little money along the way by selling things I didn't need anymore- upwards of $100!

Whether you live in 2,000 sq. ft. or 200, make the most of the space you have.  It feels so good to have things organized and put together.  It is hard work and always a work in progress, but worth it in the end.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I have come across this question in several places: What is your why?

Most recently, I signed up for Money Saving Mom's 14 day online course, Make Over Your Evenings.  You can find more info about the course here.  The very first day focuses on that question.  Another place I have heard the question is with Premier Designs training.  You need to know your "why" in your business.

Why is it important to "know your why"?  In order to make a change or stay the course in your life, you need to know the reason behind what you are doing.  If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, it will be hard to follow through.

Why am I trying to establish an evening routine?  Why do I want to get up earlier in the mornings?  Why do I want to have a home embroidery business?  Why am I selling Premier Designs jewelry?  Why am I focusing on being healthier?

With every important task you are trying to accomplish in your life, you need to know why you are doing it.  Not just the surface reason, but the underlying, life changing reason you are doing that particular thing.

This seems to be the thing that will make the difference in meeting your goals and getting where you want to be in your life.

Do you know your whys?

Monday, March 21, 2016


This past week was Spring Break for the college, so Jason was home all week.  While we don't get off for Spring Break at work, I decided to take three days vacation at the end of the week.  My plan was to get some rest, spend time with Jason, and get a few things done around the house.

I started my first couple days of vacation by resting!  We stayed home and spent some time together watching sports and some Netflix.  When Friday rolled around, I was motivated to get things done!  Jason went to work on our future rental house, and I vacuumed the house.  And by vacuum, I mean the floors, the walls, the baseboards, the blinds- Everything!  Then I cleaned all the carpet.  I felt rather accomplished, but worn out.  Jason came home not too long after lunch, then I went to get my hair done.  I love getting my hair done! Makes me feel so good.  After that, I headed back home.  I wound up having to cancel our vet appointment because my hair appointment ran long, but I figured we would get to it later.  Plus, I had many other things on my list to get done, including helping my brother move to his new townhouse on Saturday.

Well, apparently my body had other plans.  I had been struggling with my allergies all week.  The pollen outside is crazy!  It's everywhere.  Welcome to spring here in Mississippi.  The allergies combined with my mad house cleaning did me in. I started with a bad asthma attack Friday night and it lasted all of Saturday.  I started feeling a little better Sunday, but I was still wiped out.  Let me tell you, it's a frustrating thing to deal with.  Thankfully, I had all the medicine I needed to deal with it at home and didn't have to go to the doctor. Of course these things happen on the weekend when normal offices aren't open, and I didn't want to go to the ER! ($$$$)

So I spent all of my vacation resting.  And you know what?  That is ok.  I am as guilty as anyone of having long to-do lists and a myriad of things I want to get accomplished in a short amount of time.  Sometimes it takes sickness or injury to make us stop and rest.  Maybe if we did it more often it wouldn't come to that!  I am seeing more and more the importance of taking time to rest.

If you are a planner girl like me, schedule it in your week!  It doesn't have to be on Saturday or Sunday.  Often times we are so busy on the weekends.  But take an evening or two and dedicate them to resting.  Your body and mind will thank you!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Re-evaluating 2016 Goals

It's the second week in February, so now is a good time to re-evaluate the goals that I made for 2016.

So here's how it's going so far:

Health- I have failed at drinking more water! It is so hard for me to even think about drinking water.  I am the kind of person that can eat a whole meal without a drink, so I really have to be more diligent about reminding myself to drink more.

I have been doing OK with exercise.  I need to make more progress and up my time each time I work out.

I also haven't been good about sleeping!  Even the nights I have been asleep for 8 hours, I do not feel rested.  I think there are several contributing factors, so I will be working on those and being more consistent in my sleep patterns.  I have set three alarms on my phone to help me with this: the first at 9:30 pm to get ready for bed (pick out clothes for the next day, fix lunch for work, do dishes or clothes, or whatever other housework-type things), the second at 10:00 pm to go get in bed (put away the phone and either read or talk), and the third at 10:30 pm to wind down and be ready to sleep at 11:00 pm.  Going to bed at 11 and waking up at 7 should give me 8 hours per night. I will try to stick to this schedule (roughly including weekends, so I don't get off track) for a few weeks and see if 8 hours a night is sufficient for me.

Marriage- I have yet to read a marriage book yet! Still looking for good suggestions and a thrifty way to procure them.

We had one date night in January, where we make homemade calzones and watched two movies.  I enjoyed it!  We have Valentine's Day coming up next weekend that will be a date night- probably another at home date night, but those are fun too!  I haven't planned the second one in February yet.

I have been much better with the phone!  We actually switched our phone plan to one with no data, so when we are out and about there is no social media or news distracting us.

Personal- I have been slow about my reading.  I didn't finish an entire book in January, but started a couple.  My hope is to finish those in February.

I am listening to podcasts and periscopes when I have downtime at work.  I am really enjoying it!

I have not practiced crocheting since Christmas, but I have done lots of monogramming!

Business/Work- I haven't been as consistent with my business Facebook page as I would like.  I really need to take advantage of the post scheduling option.

I have worked more on embroidery and posting pictures of what we have done online.

I have also learned a couple new tasks at work.

Did you make goals or resolutions for 2016?  What progress have you made so far?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

More Offline

Just last week we made a change to our cell phone plans.  We went from having an unlimited data plan, to having no data at all. Seems like a pretty radical thing to do.

There was one main reason we made the switch- because of the money.  We are going to be saving $70 a month by lowering our plan.  We did have to buy out our contracts, but this will still save us money in the long run. And without contracts, we can change our plan however we like in the future without any extra fees.

The second thing was kind of an unintended consequence.  We are offline more.  Now, we both still have our iPhones, but we can only use our data on a wifi connection. It has been a problem before, mostly with me, that I spend way too much time online, specifically on social media.  Now, when we go to dinner or are in the car traveling together, there's no Facebook to interrupt us.

I love the internet.  I love how you can find the answer to almost any question with a quick internet search.  I love how I can keep in touch with friends and family who live states away.  But it has seemed to creep into every free moment that I have.  It takes away those moments to just think and dream.  It takes away awareness of your surroundings.

I work on a college campus and it only takes a short walk to see students passing each other and staring at their phones or having their earbuds jammed in their ears.  No one connects anymore, not really.  The human connection is lessened.  Using our senses is reduced to one dimension.

Take some time to unplug and stay offline this weekend.  Enjoy your family, friends, or something else you enjoy.  Pick up a book. Walk the dog.  See how refreshing that can be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Why Be Debt Free?

I am sure you have heard people talk about being debt free or living debt free.  You might have a strong opinion to one side or the other, or you might not have thought too much about it.

Jason and I are working to become debt free.  We have a plan in place to eliminate all our personal loans and credit cards in the next couple months, and another plan to be done with vehicle payments in 3 years.  Student loans (Yikes!) will be next.  Our plan is to be debt free except for a house note eventually. (And maybe paying off the house never know!)

There are a couple of reasons that we want this to happen.

1. So much of our income goes to debt payments!  I actually added it up one time, and it was shocking.  The amount of money that we were paying towards debt was over half our bills.  Just think of what we could do with that money if not paying other people!  There are much better things to do with your money than make payments.

2. If we are able to use our money differently, we would be able to save!  We would like to ideally have an emergency fund (3-6 months income put away) and a rainy day fund (money for when appliances break, cars need repair, etc.).  Then there are fun things like vacation funds, new car funds, house down payment funds. So much possibility!

3.  This is probably my biggest reason for wanting to live debt free- Giving.  There are numerous times that I would like to help someone or give them something, but we just don't have the money for me to do it.  I could be a blessing to someone else if I had the means to do so.  Sure, I try to do things that don't cost money, like encouraging, writing notes, texts, phone calls, etc.  But if I had a little money to put towards those actions, I could do so much more!

What is your response to debt free living?

Friday, January 8, 2016

What is in My Earbuds

In addition to my goal of reading more this year, I am also enjoying listening to different things too!  Here is a list of the things I am enjoying listening to. 

@BOLDturquoise on Periscope:  Mackenzie Monroe has a morning show each morning about 9 am CST.  It's called Cultivating the Lovely and it's all about becoming the moms, wives, sisters, friends, and women that God wants us to be.  She is so encouraging each morning.  Often she reads scripture or is going through a Bible study with the Cultivating the Lovely community.  I never miss her morning scopes!  I have very much enjoyed listening to Mackenzie! Find her on the Periscope app, and watch her past videos at

@stacymakescents on Periscope:  Stacy is hilarious.  She gives you a no-nonsense, practical, and humorous perspective on saving money, living godly, homemaking, and so many other things.  She has so much great information!  She normally scopes around 3 p.m. CST.  Find her past videos at

@moneysavingmom on Periscope:  Crystal Pain, who you've probably heard me talk about before if you've followed me for any length of time, is a great inspiration and godly woman.  She also has a daily morning show where she shares tips and advice on how to live intentionally.  Crystal is also a mom and online business owner.  I love the encouragement and advice that she gives! Find her past videos at www.katch.met/moneysavingmom.

Cultivating the Lovely: The Podcast:  Mackenzie Monroe from Bold Turquoise also has a podcast! She often interviews other women and talks about a variety of topics.  It is different than her daily morning show, but so good!  Search for Cultivating the Lovely on whatever podcast program you use.

Sorta Awesome Podcast:  Megan Tietz hosts a podcasts that is an "in-depth analysis of pop culture, all things intentional living, and the next big thing you didn't know you couldn't live without."  I am really enjoying listening to Megan, her co-hosts, and guests.  You can also search for Sorta Awesome in your podcast program.

I really enjoy listening to different things during my downtimes.  Whether it's a work or home while I'm doing chores, it's a great time to listen to a short scope or podcast.  Also good for a long drive!

What are you listening to currently?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why I Gave Up Plastic Containers

Not too long ago, I made the decision to throw out all my plastic food storage containers.  They are so convenient, and you can even get some for free if you buy lunch meat from certain brands, but I have a couple reasons why I decided to throw them out. 

First reason is that they seem to grow exponentially and they NEVER stay organized.  Ugh.  I hate that. 

Second, is that they stain and do funky things when you put certain foods in them.  They are hard to get really clean!  Yuck.

Third, when I heat my food up in them, the food tastes like plastic! Also yuck.

So, that is why I decided to switch to glass food containers.  I wasn't able to do this until Christmas, because I asked for some Pyrex glass containers for Christmas. So yay!!!

I feel like this is one small decision to make my life a little easier and maybe healthier too!

Goals so far...

We are 6 days into 2016!  Here's a little bit about how my goals have been going this week.

Health: I have not done well with sleep lately! I'm averaging less than 6 hours a night this week.  Not cool.  But we have been busy, and my husband isn't back in school yet, so that has kinda made our schedule different.  I am working on drinking more water, but haven't hit my goal in that yet.  I have made progress walking! I walked on my treadmill for an hour on Monday, and yesterday I painted for 3 hours, so I think that's an acceptable substitute!  I am also watching what I am eating as well. A friend of mine started a private Facebook group that is an accountability/encouragement group for accomplishing whatever health/fitness goals you have this year.  I think it will be good!

Marriage:  We haven't scheduled our date night yet, but it will happen this month! At some point...
I think I am doing better with the phone as well.  Anyone have a book recommendation about marriage?  I'd love to hear them.

Personal:  I am getting back into my routine of listening to podcasts and periscopes during certain times in my work day.  I love listening to the ladies I follow and learn from them.  I am also reading my first book of 2016, Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson.  It is a Christian fiction suspense/romance novel- my favorite category!  Love it.

Business:  I haven't gotten back to posting on my business pages yet, but plan to work out a schedule today for that.

What are your goals and aspirations this year?