Pinspiration: Bedroom Organization

After staring at super-organized and innovative closets and rooms all day on Pinterest, I decided that I just need to just organize things already… I had the time and the inspiration. This is what I came up with:

I moved some of my furniture on this wall around and I think it looks a lot better with my bulky dresser in the corner. I also pulled that yellow cabinet out of my closet and put my white cubby shelves sideways in my closet. This saves me a bunch of space!

I had these blue bins on the shelf to hold random stuff and they work well in my closet too. One thing that I wanted to remedy is that I had too many big sweaters in my other dresser and didn’t have much room for other things. I decided to take those sweaters along with some that I had hanging up in my closet and put them on the top shelf in bins. Now I have a lot more room to hang my winter coats that came out of hiding when my mom cleaned the coat closet out…. The shelf at the bottom holds my Mary Kay supplies and inventory a lot better this way. It’s only on the bottom four shelves in the bins. I also have a bag that I tucked away and a bin that fits perfectly under my desk. It’s great that it’s out of the way and not taking over my space, but I still have easy access to my materials.

My bookshelf is still in need of some work, but one thing at a time…

I was contemplating of somehow incorporating this bookshelf into my closet, yes, because of Pinterest… but that just wasn’t going to happen. I knew I was in need of a “landing space” for all of my on-the-go things like my purse, laptop bag, any winter scarves, hats, gloves, and for things I need to take care of like Redbox rentals. (Side note: I watched “Safety Not Guaranteed” last night and I very much recommend it! I’ll have to make a movie post in the near future!)

And this was my reward for all my work last night…. I wanted to make a grilled cheese with some fresh mozzarella, but I couldn’t find it. So I used provolone instead, but I still wanted something to spice it up a bit. That’s when I remembered that I had some extra garlic alfredo sauce in the fridge. Things just got interesting. I made grilled cheese like normal, except before I put the top slice of bread on, I spread a thin layer of alfredo on the inside… best decision of my night… I just love when things turn out amazing that you just put together without too much thought.

New Hair… (again)

Yep, I think I’m addicted to dying my hair…. I just get bored quickly and I wanted a change. This time I was thinking violet highlights…. what do you think?

 

 

It didn’t turn out how I expected, but I love it! It’s subtle enough to not be too outrageous, but it still is a pop of fun!

 

Just the essentials… hair dye and ramen noodles….

 

First I bleached my hair where I wanted the purple. Then, I used the Ion Color Brights Semi-Permanent hair color in Purple. The woman at Sally Beauty suggested I leave the purple in for 3 hours, but I only did 2 because, I’ll admit, I was scared… but I usually am with my hair experiments…

 

After I rinsed the purple out and dried my hair, I was going to dye the rest of my hair black, but I wasn’t so sure about that anymore. So I opted for a Spicy Auburn Brown by L’Oreal Paris that I had previously purchased. I honestly don’t care for the mousse dyes…. I tend to get it allllll over the place. I got it on my pants, my hair and my bedroom floor… but it probably doesn’t help that I was trying to speed up the process.

 

I was happy with the finished look, but I was going for a look closer to what I have on my Pinterest boards… but I have a feeling that would’ve been too extreme, especially this… despite how awesome it is. Maybe I’ll do the same thing next time, but make the violet darker… ideas are always welcome!

Engage-aversary…

I’ll just keep this post simple.

Today is one year from when Brian proposed to me… or as he calls it, our engage-aversary. He can be so adorable when he wants to be…

Today is also eight months away from our wedding.

I am so in love with this wonderful man. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be. We’ve been through so much in our 4.5 years together and I wouldn’t change a thing.

We met while we were both taking an Asian Philosophy class at UW-Waukesha. I decided to transfer to Eau Claire with him before I really knew him well and I had no idea why I was so attracted to him, but I felt that I would very much regret if I didn’t go with him. I didn’t have specific plans or even preferences where I wanted to transfer and it just felt right.

The summer before we moved to Eau Claire we grew even closer and became inseparable when we were at school. Fast forward two years and Brian graduated from Eau Claire. I had one more semester left and he attended police academy in Eau Claire to stay close to me. He had long hours of academy and it was hard finding time to be together.

As April approached, I was getting upset, worried, and scared because he was graduating and going back home. I cried so much because I missed him. We had to spend our April 20th anniversary apart. We still exchanged cute cards, but it wasn’t the same.

We did find little things in our day to connect with each other. He found a beanie baby kitten on the road in his subdivision that he rescued from the rain. We named her Teeny. Just little things like that to feel close to each other despite the distance.

I was so ready for my graduation to come in May. He came up with my parents and stayed with me and helped me finish packing up my college life. I cooked him dinner and we watched a movie and it was right where we left off.

We came home and he found a job doing loss prevention and then inmate transport. He was eventually hired at the sheriff’s department and we were both so elated that he had a steady full-time job. About a month after he got the call that he was hired, he proposed to me.

We went out for dinner at Olive Garden and after we pulled into my driveway, he called me over to his side of the car. He was down on one knee and I started bawling. It was the happiest moment of my life to date. The man I am so deeply in love with asked me to be his wife.

I think that July 13, 2013 will top this moment though. And that’s perfectly wonderful.

Save that Date!

Wow, 243 days and counting… and to think that a year ago I just got engaged.. well, technically that would be tomorrow, but close enough. I’m so incredibly happy for my good friend Emily! She just got engaged this weekend to her boyfriend David! They are so cute together and I’m excited to see how her wedding plans come along!

Brian and I received our save the dates and they look awesome! I’m so excited to send them out to my friends and family!

 

 

 

 

Even Brian helped…. he doesn’t look too thrilled here, but he was such a big help with stuffing all those envelopes!

 

 

 

We previously ordered some magnet save the dates, but we had to change our date… so we had these left over from that and didn’t know what to do with them.

 

 

But Brian knew exactly what to do with them…

 

 

 

The purple ones are his sister’s extra save the dates for her wedding in June. I have to pick up my bridesmaid dress for her wedding tonight, so that’s exciting!

A Trip or a House?

I’m back… I’ve been so busy with the myriad things that life has thrown my way. I’ve been working four days doing reception and then on weekends I work at the grocery store. Add on top of that Mary Kay and fitting in time to hang out with Brian and plan our wedding… sigh. If only there were more hours in the day!

Brian and I have been talking about where we are planning to move after the wedding and figuring out finances and jobs, etc… we decided to drive over to these apartments in Jackson that we looked at online since we were on our way back from West Bend. It just set in for me that I get to live with Brian in just a few months and he will be there when I wake up and when I go to sleep and it just gives me peace. I won’t have to give up a day of productivity to spend all day with him, we can plan things together and I won’t have to waste gasoline going to and from his house.

But then, while we were driving in Menomonee Falls, he looked at me and said “what if we bought a house?” I was beyond shocked and elated. This wonderful man that I’m going to marry wants to buy a house with me! My mind was going a million miles an hour and I kept thinking about how wonderful it would be, but also how much responsibility it would entail. I’m not afraid of certain responsibilities, but it kind of scares me about general repairs and maintenance like if we don’t like how certain things in the house look, renovations take a lot of time, money, and skill. But on the other hand, wouldn’t it be so lovely to be able to set everything up how we want things for a good five plus years? We can paint things, modify things, and not have to worry about how many holes we make when we hang up photos… it will just be ours.

But how are we going to save all that money for the down payment? We considered forgoing the honeymoon in San Francisco and use that money toward a house, but still it’s a lot. We already are repaying our student loans and Brian has his car payment and I need a car that isn’t my parents’…. there are just a lot of dang bills.

November for me is my no- or low-spend month. This wasn’t planned to coincide with the possible house that we have to save for, but I’m glad I started doing this before we even talked about the house. This challenge was inspired by me looking at how much I spent in October and being outright horrified! It was more than I was bringing in and it just needed to stop. I hated not having money in my bank account or having over drawn fees and worrying about if my card will go through or not. It was just an awful feeling looking at my account online.

After looking at various blogs from stay at home moms and other budget-concious women who shared their tips, I wondered why I can’t implement some of their strategies. I loved to shop, especially at Target… and I knew this was one of my triggers that makes me lose control of my spending. I’ve been dealing with this by not looking at the sales fliers which make me want to go in and get whatever I think I need and also by just staying away from Target. This has been very effective… I haven’t spent a dime at Target since October! Now the plan is to knock down the rest of my balance on my Target RedCard. One of the strategies of these penny pinchers was to not have any credit cards and if you do, get rid of the smallest balances first so you don’t have to worry about them and then you can focus on your largest debt more aggressively.

Another thing I started doing is using cash envelopes. Because I’m using actual money instead of my debit card, it is a more visual spending when the money leaves the envelope. I rationed out $150 for the month of November into separate envelopes: $50 for restaurants and eating out, $40 for random groceries and food (since I live at home I don’t have a large grocery bill, but somehow I still buy quite a bit at the grocery store… I blame it on working at one.), $30 for clothes (I’m hoping not to use that one, but just in case), $20 for beauty products (mostly hair dye or for a hair cut, but this would include nail polish and the like), and $10 for entertainment (this would include movie rentals or tickets).

After the money in the envelopes is gone for the month, that’s it. No refills and no using my card. The one thing that I use my card for is at the gas station. It’s something that I am going to revisit at the end of the month to see how it’s working. I mostly just drive 15 minutes to my reception job four times a week and then Sentry is less than five minutes from my house. I also drive 20 minutes to Brian’s house and 10 minutes to Mary Kay. I used to go see my friend in Milwaukee once a week, but that is such an incredible gas-sucker, so I know I’ll have to cut back on that. All of my credit card bills, student loans, and rent I can pay online or by check.

Well, I do have more updates on life and the wedding, but I will let that settle first. Do you have any budgeting tips? What do you do to save money for big (or small) things?