Not Back-to-School ALREADY!

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Have you noticed that back-to-school sales are slowly but surely making their way into the weekly circulars? Have you also noticed that I’ve totally been slacking on the blog? My bad! But there’s a reason behind it which I’m excited to share with you all.

Anyways, back to the school supplies. I know people REALLY don’t want to hear about school supplies in the middle of July but buying early will really save you some money. I was at Walmart on Sunday and freaked out over $.97 binders! DORK ALERT, I know. I can’t help myself. They also have sales on notebooks and folders and some other awesome stuff that I couldn’t resist. I even got a 6” desktop fan for my desk at work since the AC in our building is, at the very least, inconsistent. If you’re in need of some school supplies for yourself or for the kids Walmart is the place to go this week! I’ve looked at a lot of the store circulars and though Target has some sales they’re not as great as Walmart’s sales. One subject notebooks for $.17. $.15 two pocket folders and Crayola markers and colored pencils for under $1! Not to mention the chocolate pudding snack packs for $1! (YUM!) It doesn’t get much better than that. I also picked up some index cards which I really only use for my grocery lists and a few reminders here and there and they were under a $1 also. I love Walmart! I don’t go very often because 1) Target is a lot closer to me and 2) They’re renovating their store and the parking lot is a mess and the store itself looks like it was hit by a bomb but my most recent trip was definitely a success!

So, the reason I’ve been kinda ignoring the blog lately is because I kinda got a promotion at work! I’ve really been craving a change and more responsibility at work and the opportunity finally came and I was very excited to grab it. I’ve been training for the last week and a half and it’s been exhausting and nerve-wracking. I’ve been training all day and then coming home from work and re-writing my notes. I’ve been a very busy chick but I know it’ll pay off in the long run. The majority of my new position is accounts payable but a lot of it has to do with keeping records and staying organized which I love to do any ways. It’s just so hard to take in all this information in such a short amount of time. I hope I retained all of it but we’ll see. WISH ME LUCK!

And Happy Hump Day! (whoop, whoop!)

Awesome PROMO!

If you’ve never heard of Snapfish, I feel sorry for you. I honestly get all of my pictures printed by them. Recently I started to get their photo books and they’re amazing!

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Last week, I received my book that I had done for Rachel’s grad party and it turned out great. The quality is amazing and pretty much everything is customizable. It’s a great alternative to scrapbooks and makes the perfect gift. They have all different sizes from  5 x 7 all the way to 12 x 12 and 11 x 14. I’ve only gotten the 12 x 12 and the 8 x 11 and I’m telling you, they’re beautifully made.

Normally, the price of the books are anywhere from $11.99 – $59.99 but I got an email this morning and the 8 x 11 and 12 x 12 books are on sale! If you use promo code JUNE8X11 you can get an 8 x 11 book made for just $19 and that includes shipping! And if you use promo code JUNE12X12 you can get a 12 x 12 book that is usually $52.99 for only $29 and that also includes shipping. This deal is only good until 7/3 so hurry up and get over to snapfish, get creative, and get your customized photo book made.

Also, they have deals on their prints. You can get 100 prints for $9.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS999. You can get 300 prints for $28.99 including shipping by using promo code PRINTS2899. This deal is only good until 7/2.

Everyone knows I love photos and I love being able to fill my photo boxes so these deals are exciting.

If you haven’t checked out my new side project check it out here. And happy Saturday!

UPDATE: Country Theme Graduation Party Ideas

I’ve been racking my brain to the maximum extreme trying to come up with some more creative ideas for my sister’s country themed graduation party in June. If you missed my first post about it and some of the ideas I had, you can catch up here. I’ve told a lot of my coworkers about the country western themed fiesta to see if maybe they had any good ideas that I can steal use. One of my coworkers mentioned to me that there is a website that has cheap party decorations for pretty much any theme. It’s www.orientaltrading.com. I’ve never heard of this site and I was soooo excited once I checked it out. I have multiple things in my online cart that I’m just waiting to pull the trigger on but before I tell you about those I wanted to let you know that the invites came in the mail and I’m starting to send them out little by little. And what I mean when I say little by little is that I’m waiting for my mom to get me some of the addresses for some of the people that I can’t find on http://www.whitepages.com. Blah! I also got this cute cowboy boot stamp for the back of the invites on clearance at Michaels this week.

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I think it adds the perfect touch considering the invites say absolutely nothing about country themed anything which I kinda regret now.

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I saw these country western photo props. I was thinking about cutting out mustaches and stuff and hot glueing them to a stick so that people can use them in the homemade photobooth that I mentioned in my other post. I was kinda dreading it but now I feel fantastic that I don’t need to do any of that and this comes with more awesome stuff than just mustaches.

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Another item that popped out at me was this luau table skirt that I think would still fit in with a country theme party considering it is basically faux hay. I think it would look nice with a white table clothe with a thick strip of burlap running down the middle. We’ll see.

Getting extremely excited as the days and weeks get closer to the party!

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UPDATE!

To see how the country themed grad party turned out, along with pictures from the photo booth, click here.

Setting and Accomplishing Financial Goals!

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Setting and accomplishing goals are so important. They boost your confidence and improve your overall attitude. Setting goals and following through can be difficult so I thought I’d let you all know how I go about setting goals and trying to accomplish them.

Figure out what your goals are. Sit down and REALLY take time to think about it. Also, include your family in on your thinking process. You know what they say, “family knows best”… sometimes. Give yourself a realistic time frame to achieve these goals. Your short-term goals may take you 1-2 years or even 5 years to complete. Don’t get discouraged because time flies! Once you figure out what it is that you want to accomplish and when, the next step is to make a list of things you’re going to need to give up in order to get there. You may need to cut down on yearly vacations and just go every other year. Or it may be something as simple as not going out to eat multiple times a week. Whatever it is that you need to give up, list it below your goal.

Some of the things you need to give up my affect your family so make sure you talk to them about it. If you have children, explain to them that accomplishing goals are important and sometimes giving up certain guilty pleasures will help accelerate you to your goal. Younger children may not understand so cut back on family events that cost a lot of money like going to the movies, which all of a sudden costs an arm and a leg! When I was growing up it was like $5.50 to go see a movie and now it’s $10-$12 and if you’re a senior citizen, that’ll save you, what, $.25? Woopty-doo! And don’t even get me started on the price of 3D movies! Just because you spent $500 million making the movie Avatar, James Cameron, doesn’t mean you can charge us the same price just to go see it. Sorry for the randomness! Anyways, instead of taking the family to the movies have a movie night at home with a $1 red box movie and some good old fashion Orville Redenbacher. When the weather gets nicer check around your area to see if there’s any outdoor movie theaters or drive-ins. Also, summer is theme park season and the price of admission gets crazier every year. Kids always want to go multiple times but let them know that they can only go once or twice this summer and tell them to choose wisely.

Lastly, you’re going to need to review and re-prioritize your goals regularly. There’s going to be unavoidable setbacks. Also, some of your goals may seem unimportant after awhile so replacing one goal for another is not a big deal as long as you keep working towards something.

Country Theme Graduation Party!

My sister is graduating high school in a little over a month and I’m in utter disbelief. I can’t believe she’s about to go to college and about to turn 18 and be an adult.

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This is one of her senior pictures that I took recently.

Graduating high school means there’s going to be a graduation party! I’m helping my mom with the planning. I ordered the invites on Thursday night and we’ve decided that it’s going to be a country themed party because my sister loves cowboy boots and cowboy hats and all the country music and country boys and pickup trucks and what not. I’m not a fan of any of that but I love all the rustic decor. My mom is taking care of all the food and catering and stuff and I’m taking care of all the decorations and a homemade photobooth! I’m super excited about the photobooth actually. I wanted to share my progress with you guys and let you in on some of my ideas so you can let me know if it sounds stupid or if there are ways to improve them.

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First things first! Every grad party needs one of those photo memory boards with pictures of the graduate at all different ages. I’m thinking that instead of putting together the typical board I’m going to hang a few different layers of twine on the wall and use clothes pins to hold the pictures. I tried to search for something that was similar to what I want to do and all I came up with is this…

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I want to do something like this but with the twine not so droopy. I got the twine and the clothespins and did a small test run just to make sure the pictures stay put and they do! So hopefully that will work out.

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Another thing that I’m super excited about are these cool jar beverage spout things. I’m not sure what they’re called but I figured they’re perfect for lemonade or iced tea or even some kind of wine spritzer.

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I got them for $10 each at the Christmas Tree Shop near me and they look very rustic and country to me and considering I’m going to be using mason jars for flower vases and utensil holders I think it’ll go together very well.

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I wanted to make it a very feminine color scheme so we’re using a pink, a light pink, and gold as our main colors. I painted these mason jars and I think the colors look awesome together.

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Normally people use their high school colors but my sister’s high school colors are black and blue which are very harsh to me so we’re going a little girly.

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As for the photobooth, I got some really awesome ideas from Lovely Indeeds blog post which you can find here. I’m going to be using streamers in all the colors I mentioned previously and I’m going to add tissue paper pom pom kinda things that will hang from the ceiling.

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This is what hers looks like and I love how easy it is to put together.

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And lastly, for now, is this awesome milk can I found at Christmas Tree Shop.

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This is my before and after picture. Before it had all these tropical looking flowers so I took some acrylic paint in a brick red color and painted it. I had to do a few coats but while doing my last coat I added some crimson red and some gold streaks which you can’t really tell from the picture. I’ll try and take a better picture at some point but I figured this would be an awesome flower vase that I can load with sunflowers. I may decorate the can a little more but I’m loving the color of it!

So, that’s it for now! Please help me with some more awesome simple ideas or ways to improve what I’ve already got.

Happy Sunday!

How to blow a budget!

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Remember in my vlog I mentioned that I wasn’t going to be purchasing anything I don’t need in the month of April just so I could see how much money I could save? Oopsies!

I ended up purchasing a MacBook Pro last week and I’m absolutely loving it! It was definitely a big purchase but the opportunity presented itself and I just went for it. I have a feeling I’ll be using this laptop for a very long time. This is my first Mac and although it has and probably will take me awhile to get used to it and learn all the shortcuts and stuff, I don’t see myself getting sick of this any time soon. If you have a MacBook Pro, let me know what kinda cool stuff you can do with it and what neat accessories you have.

Oh and by the way, I’ve been meaning to tell you guys to follow me on Instagram if you have it! My username is _dweeb. Yes, underscore dweeb. I don’t post too often or anything of any value but it’s a great way to stay connected!

Happy Tuesday!

Quick Tips from 701 Money Savings Tips

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I recently purchased the Kindle book 701 Money Saving Tips by Ron Tomby. Though some of the book didn’t apply to me and some of the tips were a little redundant, it was a really cool, short read. I made a note of all of my favorite tips and thought I’d share with all of you 🙂

1. Before buying, ask yourself if buying the sale item makes sense. Even if it’s on sale, you do not save if you buy it and don’t need it. – Boy, did he hit the nail on the head with this one. When I see items on sale or on clearance I think to myself, “wow, that’s an incredible price. I’m going to buy it.” When I really should be thinking, “I don’t really need this even though it is at a great price.”

2. If you find yourself engaging in shopping as “therapy” when you had a bad day, consider switching to a physical exercise routine to get the same rush. Get healthy and save money. – Easier said than done I suppose, but I do like where he’s going. I can’t tell you how many times, after a bad day, I went to the mall to buy a new shirt or a new pair or shoes to make myself feel better. I’m sure if I just went for a walk or a run instead I’d feel just as accomplished but I decided to spend money on things I don’t need. Such a bad idea!

3. Swap services with friends and neighbors who can do things you can’t.  – I’m sure a lot of people do this but I don’t think I ever have. Not that I wouldn’t like to give it a try. Let’s say you have a hot, single neighbor who has a nice lawn mower. Maybe you could ask him to mow your lawn in exchange for cooking him dinner once a week. Haha, that whole scenario sounds like the beginning of a bad porno, but I’m being serious. Bartering will save you a ton of money. Give it a shot!

4. Limit yourself to a weekly cash allowance for your treats, i.e. pizza, ice cream, McDonalds, or whatever it is that you crave. – Not only will this save you money but it could help you lose weight. If you have an unlimited budget for snacks then you can go to hell in a hand basket but limiting your budget will force you to have to pick that one thing you’re craving.

5.When buying online search for promotion codes first by googling the name of the vendor or site you’re about to buy from and add “promotion code” or “coupon” in the search box. – I do this all the time. Usually you can at least find a promotion code for free shipping or something. Definitely worth checking out before purchasing anything online.

6. Find out about all of the benefits of your job. – You may be able to get a discount on your monthly cell phone bill just for being employed where you work. I know at my job you get 10% off your monthly Verizon bill if you can provide a CAT card that shows you work with the military. We also have a discount on auto insurance. So what you should do is sit down with your HR manager and ask her if she knows of any benefits that your job has.

And last, but not least…

7. When going to the grocery store, make sure you’re not hungry. – I do this all the time! More times than I can count. I end up leaving with a ton of stuff, most of it junk food. It’s not good to go grocery shopping when you’re full either. So not only do you need to plan and make a list of the groceries you need but you also need to plan around your meals and appetite. Geez-Louise!!!

Well that’s all I got for today. If you’re interested in buying the kindle book I posted the link at the top of this post. It’s only $1.99 and definitely worth it. If you purchase it, let me know what you think.

Happy Saturday everyone!!!

Top 5 Organizational Mistakes!

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1. Not finishing what you startSome people think that organizing a certain room is a great idea that they get so excited and think it’ll be so easy that when they finally start they get overwhelmed and quit halfway through. Before you start a new project make a list of all the things that need to get done in that area. This way you’ll be able to see what needs done and be prepared if it takes you longer than you thought. 

2. Buying organizational products before you know what you needI’m guilty of this one! Remember in August when I said that I was going to clean out all of the closets in my apartment? Well, I finally got around to cleaning my bedroom closet last weekend. But before I started I made a trip to Walmart for a few hampers, a basket for my bathroom, hooks for behind the door, and a shoe rack. Luckily, I was able to use everything I purchased. Also, sometimes I’ll buy something just because it seems useful and maybe it’s pretty but then I don’t end up using it or I’ll leave it out and find that it doesn’t serve a purpose.

3. Not throwing away/donating clothes or toys right away I do this all the time! Actually, as I type this I have 1 box and 2 garbage bags full of clothes in my closet that need to be donated and thrown away. When you do this, it never feels like your project is complete, which can lead to a mess much sooner rather than later.  “Oh, I never finished cleaning this closet so it doesn’t matter if I just leave this sweater on the floor for now. I’ll pick it up when I finish.” (Yes, that is the kind of conversation I have with myself)

4. Holding onto something because you think it could be usefulHave you ever not thrown away those ugly tennis shoes from high school because you think they might come back in style? OR “I couldn’t possibly throw away that old spatchula. I may need it if the other 4 spatchulas that I have grow legs and run away.” OR “Can’t throw away that old Mickey Mouse doll. What if someone brings their child over and I don’t have a toy for them to play with?” LOL.. I have no idea but if you haven’t used it for awhile, don’t make an excuse to keep it around. It’s only taking up space! Most of my clutter consists of items I think I MIGHT need at some point or I’m keeping it because I think someone else MIGHT need it. Just throw it away and clear some space!

5. If you have an organizational plan for a room or space in your home, don’t keep it to yourselfYou just finished cleaning off the dining room table. Everything that was on the table was either thrown away or has found a new permanent spot. Then your husband comes home and puts his briefcase and all of today’s mail on the table and then your kids come home and throw their book bags and toys on the table as well. If you’ve got a new found organizational plan for a certain space, make sure you communicate that plan with your family. They won’t know that the new table is no longer for everything and the kitchen sink if you don’t make it known. Just a side note, I’m not sure why I’m cracking up. I just thought of the above situation in my head and thought it was hilarious. I imagined this proud, accomplished mother, all smiles because she’s just finally finished cleaning off her dining room table that was covered in mountains of junk. Then, within a matter of 30 seconds her husband walks through the door, on his cell phone. He drops off everything on the table. His briefcase, the mail, change he may have had in his pocket, a couple receipts from today’s lunch purchase. He’s talking loudly on the phone to someone, I imagine it’s probably a colleague, and he’s on his way to the bedroom to get changed but he takes a quick second to kiss his wife, whose now looking bewildered, on the cheek. The room is silent, but only for a moment and then a stampede of children come in. Actually, maybe just three of them. One of them is around the age of 6. He blows his nose in a tissue and then throws it on the table along with his Batman lunch box and book bag. Behind him is an 11 year old girl, probably named Bridget or something, she’s just coming home from swim team practice and throws her wet towel on the table. Finally, her oldest son, she’s hoping that he’s old enough to realize that his stinky, sweaty hockey equipment doesn’t belong on the dining room table. She’s holding her breath, praying that he’ll take it straight to the garage or at least the mudroom. He walks towards her with a smile. He says, “hey mom! How are you? Have a good day?”  and kisses her on the cheek. He has passed the dining room table without dropping his stinky bag on the table! She smiles slightly, relieved. She always knew how smart he was. Her son goes to the refrigerator, pulls out a bottle of water and starts walking toward the living room…. Not before dropping his big, moldy smelling hockey bag on the dining room table. And the mother’s excitement turns to complete disappointment. HAHAHAHAHA! Really over the top but that’s what I thought of. 

Anyways, I hope this helps! Happy Monday everyone!

Recent Purchase – #1

Before you start reading this, I just wanted everyone to know that it took me about an hour to write this post because I’ve been so distracted ALL DAY! I opened up the “New Post” page and typed in the title, then put on some music, then started writing a little and then stopped to eat some potato chips, then wrote a little more and then called my mom, wrote a little more and then had a dance party in my living room. Yeah, I said a dance party. Anyways

I’m an avid Groupon purchaser. Sometimes they have really great deals that I just can’t pass up. A couple months ago they had $10 yearly magazine subscriptions, two weeks ago they had hookahs, and then last week I found this…

The Laundry Pod!

Have I ever told you the story about how much I hate doing laundry? No? Well it’s a long one and the cliff notes go a little something like this: I FREAKING HATEEEEE LAUNDRY!

We don’t have our own washer and dryer in our apartment. We have to go to a shared facility that’s like a block away to do any laundry or we have to go to a laundromat. It sucks! So anytime I need anything washed I need to pack up a laundry basket, pack up the car, and drive down the block to the communal laundry room, unload the car, and do the laundry. And here is the kicker… it costs us $5 a load! Not only is it soooo time consuming, it also costs a lot of money. I usually send Sam to do it (insert evil laugh here).

When I saw this product on Groupon, I immediately went and searched for reviews and videos of people using it and it actually looked pretty cool and kinda fun.

Umm, yeah it totally looks like a salad spinner for your clothes but that’s part of the awesomeness. It can’t hold a lot of clothes and I’m not saying that it’s going to completely rid me of  using the communal laundry room but it’s definitely a huge help. During the week if I need a couple t-shirts washed or something, it’s super easy to throw them in here, churn it as if I’m making butter for about 10 minutes and then setting the clothes out to dry on my drying rack. I’ll still need to go to the dreaded laundry room to wash towels and sheets and stuff like that, but pretty much everything else can be washed in here. Not only is it super portable and a super space saver, it’s also super green. And I say green as in eco-friendly. This baby doesn’t need electric and it uses way less water than an actual washer.

So, in conclusion, if you live in an apartment, go camping a lot, or just want to save the universe one laundry pod at a time, you should really get this. It’s easy to use, easy to put away, and it’s just easy. I probably only have to go to the laundry room once or twice a month. That alone gets me super excited!

Happy Friday!