Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday

So I'm doing this Five on Friday thing again but unfortunately I don't have any pictures to go along with my 5 thoughts for this week so maybe it'll be a little more boring lol  If you want to participate, just go to A. Liz Adventures and link up your blog.

We finally heard back from our CPA after 3 weeks.  I was shocked...amazed...speechless at the results.  Let's just say that God is SO good!  Not only do we not owe anything but we're getting back more than we've ever gotten back before. Crazy!  If you missed out on what I'm talking about.  We went to HR Block and at first we were getting back $1200 and then I got a call the next day that said they miss-figured things and that we would owe $1300.  So we went to a CPA to get a second opinion.  I am SO thankful we did!

I found a new app for learning languages.  It's free and it's called Duolingo.  You can go to the website and work on it there too.  It works on phrases, spelling, verbal, etc.  You can work on multiple languages at once.  Right now, I'm working on French and Italian :)  I like to multi-task.

Divergent! Next Friday! Woohoo!  I'm going to have to go ahead and remind myself that it's not going to be as good as the book but I hope they have done a good job.  I'm already not sure about the person they chose to be Tris but whatever lol Maybe she'll be a lot better than I think.

We are doing another photo shoot with our favorite photographers... Kristin Byrum Photography.  It's April 13 and we're going to drive down to Charleston for something different.  I'm really excited about it.  I have NO idea what I'm going to wear yet.  I don't want to do jeans but I really need a tan  lol

Here are five random facts about me....
1) When I read a magazine, I start from the back page and work my way to the front.
2) Darren had a personality class at work.  We figured out that our personalities are pretty much opposite lol but we work :)  So according to Myers, I am INFJ (Introverted Intuition with Extroverted Feeling).  Darren is ESTJ (Extroverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing).  The descriptions are right on the money...kinda crazy.
3) I watch movies I own when that come on tv and even sit through the commercials but rarely watch the dvd.
4) I've lived in North Carolina my entire life and have never been to Biltmore.  I get to go on my 30th birthday this year thanks to some friends that I'm going to do some maternity pictures for while we're there.
5) Funny thing....I can't come up with a 5th one right now :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five on Friday

  Yes...I know it's Saturday but I've been wanting to participate in the Five on Friday link up that A. Liz Adventures does on her blog for a couple of weeks now but I just haven't gotten around to it.  So here we go :)  I believe the point of Five on Friday is to just make a list of your thoughts for the day or what you have going on.

To say I have baby fever is a mild mild understatement lol and it doesn't help that several of my friends are pregnant so I have to go into baby stores to buy baby gifts :)  Are these not too cute?!  I'm so tempted to just pick up a few things for myself but that's not exactly practical when I wouldn't know when I would be having a baby (seasons and all) or gender.  Oh'll happen.

  I got a new planner :)  I was using my phone but I like to write things down and I lost all my contacts' addresses so I decided to go back to the old school way of life and get a pretty calendar.  Of course, I have to color code everything and it all just makes me happy lol  The planner itself is by Martha Stewart.  I got it from Staples.  I ordered the calendar pages from I Heart Organizing's Etsy store.

   I got to hangout with one of my best friends today.  I haven't seen her in over a year and now she lives over 2.5 hours away :(  Of course...eventually, that will be even further away but I won't think about that one.  I'm so thankful for Limary.  We've been good friends since college and although we don't see each other often, we can pick right up where we left off.  Those are the best friends to have.

   I would really like to be any place like this.  I need a vacation.  A nice warm tropical vacation where I can relax and not think about anything.  Too bad that's not going to happen any time soon.

  I saw Frozen today.  After all the hype I've seen on it on Facebook, when Limary and I decided to go see a movie, we figured, hey why not.  and I LOVED IT!  I'm quite certain I have a new favorite Disney movie.  Granted....I'm kind of a mess and cried in a couple parts but oh well :)  It was funny and sweet all in one.  I loved all the characters and how it has adult humor and kid humor.  I will definitely be buying this one! :)


Friday, February 28, 2014

Financial Freedom Friday: February

February Debt Demolition... $-1,200 but with the lovely interest rates, etc...that really only makes my debt $885 smaller than last month but progress none the less. 

The really bad thing is that we went to see a cpa last Friday and he is re-doing our taxes from what HR Block did.  When he was looking over things, he said "I'm not liking what I'm seeing".  Umm.... can you come up with a better way to explain that to this overly anxious person that is translating that as "you're going to owe even more than what they said"??  So we're playing the waiting game and I'm really not sure how long we are going to have to wait for him to be through with them or how much it's going to cost us afterward (they said it could take 3 weeks).  So I may be reluctantly adding another $1,300 to my debt total.  1 step forward, 2 steps back.  Seems to be a recurring pattern in my life.

I decided to make a list of goals (however lofty they may be) for 2014.  You can't reach goals if you don't make them right? And you might as well make them challenging.  So here they are...

2014 Financial Goals

Debt Payoff:
~Pay off credit card
~Pay off whatever IRS money we are going to owe
~Pay off our car

~Save 1 month's worth of income as a cushion (next year, we will hope for 3 months)
~Save for baby (I don't want to wait until I'm pregnant to do this one!)
~The alternative to saving for baby would be saving for a down payment on a house.

~Look into additional Life Insurance.  Dave Ramsey suggests 10x your salary.

What are your financial goals for this year?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Baby Shower- check!

Saturday, I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law in celebration of my baby niece that is expected in mid-march.  I put a lot of prep work into this shower.  It didn't fully come out the way I had planned....but what ever does, n'est pas?  I'm not posting any pictures of people in this post out of respect to my sister-in-law.

Here's the invitation that I designed.  I went with a navy and hot pink theme in case you didn't catch that :)

My sweet husband made the super yummy strawberry cupcakes Friday night because he knew I was starting to stress out a little.  He made the meatballs for me too.  The bread in front is from a local bakery that just moved into Lake Park.  It's called Skeeter's bakery.  They have a great sourdough pizza loaf so Darren picked one up Saturday morning.  Isn't he the best? :)

I like decorating with items that will also be useful.  Cute and effective!

I saw this corsage idea on Pinterest (naturally) but the link didn't go to anything other than a picture... otherwise I would link back to it.

I used some of the maternity pics that I did as decorations.  Sorry for the big black blobs... again, out of respect.

No baby shower is complete without a corny game, right? lol So we did baby shower bingo.  Apparently my mom was the smartest of the bunch because she wrote in the obvious items in the spots going down in a diagonal.  She got bingo right away.

So now that that's over, we're just waiting on lil' miss Cora to make her debut.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Sunday Social: Week 10

I'm trying to be consistent with this whole blogging thing but I've been really busy trying to get things ready for my Etsy business.  It's a LOT of work!  I'm getting there...slowly but surely.  So for now, I'm going to link up with Ashley from Ashley Lately for her Sunday Social :)  If you want to participate, just go to her blog to grab the button and copy the questions for your own blog and then link your blog back to hers.

1. What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?
Lately, I haven't had a lazy day at all.  I'm trying to start an Etsy business where I'll be selling adorable children's clothing and boutique baby items.  It's a lot of work but I'm determined to wait until I have everything complete before I open up shop so it may be another month or so.  However, if I did have a lazy day, it would probably include my laptop and tv....since both are such time wasters lol

2. What is your tv guilty pleasure?
I don't watch anything besides hgtv lol When I don't have control of the remote, the tv is on discovery or history channel. guilty pleasures for me unless you include wishing I could be on House Hunters International and looking for an apartment in Paris :)

3. What is your favorite road trip music?
Just like any other time, my music choices vary based on my mood.  I typically listen to Michael Buble, Dean Martin, Jack Johnson, John Meyer, Bing Crosby, etc.  But then sometimes, I like Katy Perry, Pink, etc.  It just depends.

4. What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around?
I'm not a big magazine person because I typically think they are a waste of money.  I like romance novels (but not really the trashy kind).  I also like Christian romance/suspense novels.  I like books that have a love story but that isn't the sole focus of the book...there's something else going on.  My favorites are Divergent, Hunger Games, and Twilight.... yeh I'm like a 16 year old  lol

5. What is your favorite snack?
Just one?? How can anyone choose just one favorite snack.  Honestly...I don't have a clue.  If I'm following my diet like I'm supposed to, I snack on string cheese and pepperoni and almonds.


Hopefully I can come up with something to blog about soon.  Once I do my photoshoots with my little models for my product, I will blog about my new Etsy business.  I will probably wait until I have the shop open.  My goal is by mid-March. 

This next weekend, I will be hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law.  I was so ahead of schedule a couple of weeks ago that I started concentrating on other things.  Now, I don't feel like I'm prepared or have everything together.  I don't have many people coming as of right now so I'm not really going all out but it will still look nice :)  I love giving parties but the preparation for everything can be stressful.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Self Portrait Project: February

I'm a little late on this.  I was supposed to do it last week but I'm kind of glad I waited so I could get the snow :)  I think one of the things I will be learning from this self portrait project is how to look at a picture of myself in a different way.  It's so hard not to look at a picture and automatically make a face and go "ugh" or pick out the negatives.  So as I went through these pictures that my sweet husband so patiently took for me on our snowy afternoon, I made myself try to look at them in a different light.  Like..."hey that looks like a happy person" or "look at her pretty blue eyes and bright smile".  That sounds so much better than "yuck...check out the double chin" or "yep, definitely need to lose that 20-30lbs". lol  We are our own worst critic afterall.  Learning to love yourself can be difficult.  It's certainly a work in progress.

And might I add...I would be lost without this coat this winter.  It's the only thing I kept from my teenage years lol I bought it when I was about 17 and haven't been able to wear it since, until now of course :) It's quite comfy.

Feel free to join in on the Self Portrait Project...even if you missed last month.  Just do your post on your blog and come back here and link it at the bottom of this post :)  And link my blog on yours while you're at it ;)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Financial Freedom Friday

Time for another Financial Freedom Friday! Yay! :) It's crazy though because that also means that a month has already passed.  Time really does go so quickly.  We're entering into February already.

January Debt Demolition... $-1,300  Woohoo! Goal met for this month at least :)  It kind of makes me sick to know that that much money is having to go to pay off debt but whatever, it's getting done. Also...while I paid that much toward debt this month, with interest, it only knocked off about $950 off my total...blah! Still a long way to go but's not a sprint and I'm probably not doing this at "gazelle" speed as Dave would do.

I spent some time this week getting all of our tax information together.  Next year, I think we'll actually be able to do our taxes ourselves and not have to pay someone a stupid amount to do them for us.  But for this year, since we had the rental property, sold the house, and the surgery with all the thousands of dollars in medical bills, we thought we'd leave it up to a professional because it really just makes my head hurt to think through it.  Maybe this year we will actually get some money back.  It sucks to pay uncle sam even more money on April 15th then he already takes out of our check every pay period.

I'd really like to book a cruise if we get money back but I know the responsible adult thing to do would be to put it into savings since we are praying for a baby to come our way sometime soon.  Considering the costs for all of that...I'll have to weigh out my options I suppose.

So there you have Financial Freedom Friday update.  My goals for February look much like they did for this month :) Pay down that debt!