Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Making Cards


My day off consisted of baking, watching shows, finishing a few projects for others, and making a few cards. I LOVE making cards. I'm not awesome at it. They aren't like the ones you see other people make that are super fancy and beautiful and precious. But I still love to make them and give them out. It's just more personal to me (even if they aren't the best out there, but I'm not trying to be the best. I'm just trying to be me).

So, I got busy going through my scrap paper box and my crafty things to pull together things. I decided on pumpkins and darker shades to match fall theme. I seem to prefer spreading out on the ground when I craft... That's why the shots are on the living room rug. Its just too cozy and easy to work with all of the floor space!

Below are some close ups.

To make the pumpkins and their leaves more distinct, I rolled the edges in my brown ink pad. I like how it causes a sharp contrast between the different colors the pumpkin is up against.

I know - where did the gum drops one come from? All of the others have pumpkins! I just could not get past this precious sticker. It is only about 1x3 so I have plans to give it to someone with a candy bar (or something).

This one is my favorite. It is so simple and clean, but still has some whimsy to it. 

Oh! I'm also taking part in a FB page hop! You can be a part of it too (check out other cool bloggers, find other FB pages to be a fan of...) It's fun!

The Naptime Review
Below are all of the cards I made - pumpkins and a box of candy. Haha. Anyone else like to make cards? Or did anyone else realize that even the best of cameras needs good lighting (or good photo editing software, which I don't have)? I'm still loving the new camera, though!

Hanging Big Pieces of Wall Art

Last week, we showed you guys our living room, our new favorite room in the apartment. Remember that big piece of wall art hanging behind the couch?  Here is a picture to remind you.

It's the biggest thing we have ever hung up any of our walls. AND- it is not light. The planks are wood. And I have wimpy arms. Usually my method of hanging things involves me holding the piece backwards against the wall while the mister eyeballs above for correct nail/screw placement. And it works. But I COULD NOT hold this guy up by myself. So we pulled out a handy trick involving painters tape.

I didn't take pictures of the whole process - I was distracted. And that, I guess, would have just been too helpful for you. I'm sorry. But what you don't see illustrated is that we got some good old regular painters tape and stretched it across the top of the piece, marking where the eyelet hangers were. Then, we stuck the tape to the wall (The Mister making sure we hit some studs). We lined up the level to the top of the tape to make sure we were hanging it straight.

Then, The Mister put screws in the spots where the marks were on the tape. This was so easy and so fast. Plus - it was straight the first time! And my wimpy arms were spared. Hope you find this little tip helpful!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shutter Bug

Exciting thing! We purchased ourselves a new camera! We've been saving a lot and The Mister decided to give the go ahead on getting it. We also purchased a tripod and a good case for it.


Look! Lola's eyes! The camera captured her so well. 

We did a lot of research, and came down to comparing Nikon and Cannon. We decided to go with Nikon because there, to us, seemed to be more bang for the buck and met the needs we have. And after comparing models, we settled on the 3200. Right price and right capabilities.

I wanted a camera that would be good for capturing daily life, good for the blog and The Mister's business, and would be great for when we have kiddos.

So, we played with it. And it was awesome. Isn't the quality of the pictures great? And isn't my man handsome? 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumn Musings

Texas is hot. Texas tends to stay hot 10 months out of the year. We get a glimpse in to the other seasons. And it seems that autumn has decided to rear its head! So, today I am sitting on the couch, blinds open, walking Lola in the cool weather outside, wearing a sweater, and sipping on some hot cocoa. I am inspired to share more of the autumn decor we have put up around the apartment.

I have showed you guys the wreaths we have put up. And I still love it.

Yesterday, I showed you our living room with the sweet pumpkins incorporated in to our decor. Remember these sweeties?


They are just so precious! Plus, they fit so well with our style of decor that we keep year round. It's pretty awesome.

Now, how about I show you our dining room table?


The charger with the leaf embellishments is from World Market, as are the birch candles. I originally fell in love with the birch pillar candles when I saw them at Pottery Barn, but the cheaper price (and coupons I get for being a member at World Market) helped save money on these. The baby pumpkins were cheap at our local grocery store and I think they just add a little something sweet.
There is still work to be done, decor wise, in the dining room. Namely, that photo. It's very special to me as it is a shot we grabbed in Colorado on our honeymoon. But, the cheap poster frame takes away from its beauty, to me. Alas, this is a topic for another day.
I always feel weird putting my fall decor up before it feels like fall around here and Texas allowed me to put them up on time and not feel so odd this year (which I am grateful for- thanks Texas!). Anyone else have the internal battle with how it feels and how to decorate for the season? Are you guys digging sweet little pumpkins this year? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ready for Unveiling!


Previously, we talked about when we were looking for a couch and deciding how we were designing our living room, and then we shared the pieces of furniture we purchased. Now, I believe it is a good time to reveal the room to you, as it is now. It is cozy to us and we spend a lot of time in it.  Ready to see it?? I'm so ready to show you.

Here it is, folks! The lamps were off... so I decided to snap the rest with the lamps on. 


This is Lola's spot she hangs out between our feet when we watch shows or movies.

How about some close ups of the details hanging out around the room??

The two above photos are the accessories on the console table. I opted to keep the photos in the room black and white so that the emotion can shine through. And that cool jar of old stamps? That was a gift from my dad when I was a girl. I love it.

This is the top of the bookshelf that is to the left of the sofa. For fall festivities, I purchased the cute pumpkins from World Market and put one on the bookshelf and one on the console table.
Here is the photo album and catalog holder that sits by the Mister's recliner. It is an old wooden box that The Mister found in my dads garage. Isn't it cool?

The purple pillows are from Bed Bath and Beyond. All of the other ones are from West Elm.

Here is our media center from Target (with the free TV that the Mister told you about fixing). The brass hardware is what got me. 

The red wax warmer is from Walmart. I made the book pillars. The candles are ones I got a while ago (and I don't remember from where). The red metal box atop the books is a small old socket set box that was rescued from my dads garage. The glass pieces are from Ikea (the purple one), Good Will (the teal one) and one I got a while back and can't remember from where (the red one). 
Wondering where we got the big pieces?? Allow the below picture to fill you in!

Isn't' it cozy and comfy and wonderful? We adore the room. What do you think?

Money, money, money, money! MONEY!

Did that stream of "Money" shouts come out the way I intended?? As O'Jays "For the Love of Money"? Cause that is what I'm going to talk about today. I will be sharing in the next few posts ways we have saved money and what we are doing now to get to a place we want to be, financially.

This all started when we signed up for automatic bill pay with our bank. A banking error led to 2 checks being cut for our rent in the same week...  This was before I was bringing home pay checks, after we moved in to our new place (with a higher rent), and when many other bills were due (like car insurance and the phone bill). Needless to say, this sent us deep in to the negative. And then you get the fees piled on top of that for over drafting your account. And we had a small savings. Very small.

The bank owned up to their error, but because of the amount that had been taken out and that it was in the form of an already written check, we were told it would take 5-7 DAYS to get that money back in to our account. I was terrified. Honestly terrified. We had a credit card that we were using for groceries and gas but had put a couple things on (which would NOT have been a big deal because we totally had the money to pay it) so the available balance was quite low.

Thankfully, my man got on that and was respectful, but firm, went up the ladder at the bank and talked with someone who got us the money back that next day (people, I'm talking it was about 2 grand with the rent and all those stupid fees they tacked on - that is A LOT of money to us). I never wanted to experience that again. So when we were visiting some awesome friends of ours, I saw Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover on their bookshelf and I felt it calling my name.

The Mister and I are young - 23 and 22 years young (it literally just took me 10 seconds to remember how old I am... geez!) and managing finances wasn't something we were taught at home or at school. That isn't anyones fault- that is just how it was for us growing up. So we are learning as we go, and what we learned from the bank debacle was we needed to do something different.

We are not crazy spenders, by any stretch of the imagination. RARELY do we buy new clothes. We don't go out to eat an excessive amount. The problem was that we didn't see where our money was going. Checkbooks have those ledgers that you can write your charges and balance in for your bank account, but I did NOT use that. My checkbook has those little sheets behind each check that carbon copies each check you write so I always knew what my checks were for and how much they were (sorry I don't know what that nifty tool is really called). The stories in Dave's book (and most of the people who follow Dave's plan) are deep in debt and have lived a life where they blow money to maintain an image or just try to survive (like the amazing stories of single mothers having to put charges on credit card to support their children's basic needs). We aren't deep in debt. We aren't trying to maintain an image. We just flat out didn't know how to take care of our money. And we want to do so in a biblical manner.

When I looked at where the money had gone on our one income family, I had just graduated (and graduating is more expensive than anticipated) so our modest cushion that we kept in the account had been spent. Plus, moving isn't cheap, either.

This is where we stand - 3 months in, we have a budget set, plans for saving for specific things, we talk more about money (instead of let it stress us out), and plans to pay off our debts. Since we are young and starting this young, our only debts are a small amount due on The Mister's truck and a few student loans for me (which I am still in a grace period for until the middle of November). An emergency fund is in place and we are saving for Chris to finish his degree.

We will definitely tell you guys more about the budget and the ways we are living a financially healthier life in more posts. Questions, comments, and post suggestions are welcomed!