Summer Manifesto

read lots and lots of books

get my small photography business going

do lots of crafts

do some around the house DIY projects

take Annabel on adventures

spend lots of time outdoors

see my family and friends as much as possible

work on the wedding planning

goals: photography business

So, lately I’ve been taking steps to start up my own photography business. I’ve got appointments to amp up my portfolio and business ideas along with all the little aspects that go into it (stationary, pricing, website etc). I am surrounded by notes of ideas and things that must be done. Danny is so supportive and positive about it. I’m nervous as hell. He says the worst I can do is fail, or not make any money but at least it is something fun that I enjoy. And at least I won’t be sitting around thinking what if? or I should have tried.

I’ll be sure to update about it.

Cheers to a new venture! 



Personal Goal

A couple of weeks ago I created a personal goal. One that may sound a bit strange but my goal is to dress up more. And when I say “dress up” I don’t necessarily mean get all fancy and what not. I mean no longer am I allowed to roll out of bed and wear a t-shirt and a hoodie to work. There is not much of a dress code at my job. I just can’t wear skulls or swear words – common sense. I do have to dress up when I’m attending a meeting at the corporate office. But when I’m at my own building/office it’s whatever. I have noticed though that on days where I make more of an effort – I do my hair nice and pick out an outfit that’s a bit more upscale than a t-shirt – I feel better. It helps me to be in a better mood and with spring showing itself as well my happiness has been increasing lately. I think that if I stick with this goal to dress up more it will also help me to get back to being used to getting up early. I’ve been hitting my snooze button numerous times; to the point where I literally have no time to do anything but roll out of bed.

So cheers to this new/random/weird goal!

5 year diary update

So, I originally had this post. It is my five year journal/diary .. whichever term you prefer. I caved and bought it in time to start it exactly on January 1st of this year. My goal was to truly stick to this journal everyday. I don’t necessarily write every night, but I do make sure my entry is done the next day. I keep the little guy in my purse – just in case. (I’m a huge just in case person).

I am really enjoying this new hobby/goal. There’s only a few lines under each date so I can only write the most important events or just simply cut to the chase. This journal is making me long for my past journaling days. I started writing in a journal super young and I didn’t stop until I was 22 years old. And then I burned them; burned them all. It was cathartic. It didn’t feel like I had a huge secret hiding in my cedar chest in the closet. There were so many journals. I spent so much time and money on all of them and I absolutely loved doing it. Their presence became a burden though. So many secrets or thoughts that were private that I did not ever want to share with the world or my family or friends or future husband. The thoughts and ideas and feelings were mine. 

Now a part of me misses writing things down in a journal. A part of me misses that way of documenting memories. Now that I have Project Life I can take scrapbooking more seriously and document things there, but I miss the feel of writing; the feeling of pen to paper.

For now my five year journal is filling that void. I know that the next five years will be big ones – getting married – starting a family? It will be nice to see how things have changed all in one little book that contains so much time.

So I guess what I’m trying to say through all this rambling is that I totally recommend it!

25 by 25 update

Here is my progress for my 25 by 25.
Some of course are still in progress.
The italicized ones I think I’m going to just pass on.
The ones that are in progress I’m doing really well with and I’m happy with them.

I have finished reading 14 books for this year. I reached that goal at the end of February/beginning of March.
I really should have aimed for a higher number but I had no idea that it would be so easy!

1. Start running again.

2. Read at least 14 books for 2014.

3. Book a wedding hall.

4. Create ‘love’ bookshelf with Danny for Valentine’s Day.

5. Take more art photographs.

6. Create a large black and white photo for living room wall space.

7. Save money!

8. Continue with my 5 year diary – every day.

9. Get table decorations for wedding reception.

10. Pay off a certain amount of student loans.

11. Create more Project Life spreads.

12. Take Annabel on a hike.

13. Paint pots.

14. Don’t let Danny’s absence get me down.

15. Get a wedding dress – at least pick it out.

16. Complete Danny’s wedding gift. (super excited for this)

17. Finish our first home mini book.

18. Make a summer mini book.

19. Stop biting my nails.

20. Buy a new couch.

21. Grow out hair for wedding.

22. Try something new.

23. Find a church (for the wedding).

24. Get custom rubber stamp for Danny and I.

25. Enjoy life.

goals: don’t rush yourself

Do you ever rush yourself into a goal? Or rush yourself to reach a goal?

Story of my life.

My current (biggest) goal is strictly financial: pay off school loans

I’m sure you’ve seen the news articles about how ridiculous school debt is for some graduates. Although I would not put myself in the extreme at all – I still feel as though I am in a ton of debt (because, well, I am). For what seemed like the longest time the debt felt like the world on my shoulders. It was the biggest stress in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is still stressful and there is still a lot of debt. But honestly that is the only thing I have to remotely worry about. I can afford my bills, I live in a nice house, I have a nice car and a job that some people would kill for. Life is good.

I’ve been rushing myself to reach this goal; ridiculously pushing myself to pay off thousands of dollars.
But why rush? – I know that may sound crazy. You may be saying “uh, what about the interest?!” But honestly I’ve changed up my spending patterns. I’ve begun to really question myself when shopping – “do I really need that?” “Is it worth the money?” etc. This has helped me tremendously. I’m not in credit card debt or anything like that, I’m not addicted to shopping. But asking those questions and making better decisions as to what to buy or when to buy something has really helped me. It has allowed me to pay more than my monthly required payments a.k.a. more than the minimum.

So instead of rushing myself and beating myself up, I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can at the fastest pace I can.
I remind myself that I’m not making stupid decisions and that I’m sticking to my priorities. I guess you can say that I’m looking at my situation in a positive light. I could be making way less money, I could be in double the amount of debt that I am. I am thankful that I was able to get a degree. I loved school – I loved the majority of my classes and I made awesome friends.

I have Danny to thank for a lot of the progress I’ve made. He is very good with finances – money and investing. He keeps me motivated and on track with my goal.

Since there are so many people out there with school loans … or hell, any other debt, here’s some tips that work for me:

1. Plan ahead!!! I love doing this. I’m a total list person. If you’re someone who knows how much they’re
going to make every paycheck this is a great idea!  I always plan out what bills I’m going to pay
each pay day. That way I know how much I have left over after my bills are paid. And it’s a way to keep an eye
on when bills are due so maybe you can shift some payments around and get more out of a paycheck and/or
have the opportunity to save more.

2. Sleep on it! Think you really need that purse or shoes? Think again.
Sleeping on it is always a good idea.

3. Make two payments a month. This is specifically for things that are gaining interest.
It helps to cut down on that. Another thing that goes with this is pay off all your interest ASAP.
One of my loans had a couple hundred dollars in interest (ugh!) so I paid off all the interest so that every payment I made after that
would hit the principle. Of course it’s gaining interest daily, but now I can make payments that cover the total interest every
time and pay off some of the principle.

4. Pay off the smallest loan/credit card etc first. It is also good to concentrate on the one with the most interest.
Those two things happen to be the same for me. When you pay off the smallest it keeps you
motivated to keep going. It’s like you’ve made progress so why stop now?

5. Stop eating lunch out at work. Stop buying coffee on your commute. It doesn’t seem like you’re spending
much at the time but add it up over the month and it can be a serious chunk of change.
It may even help you to track every penny you spend in a notebook or something for a few weeks so you can see how much
of a dent you’re putting in your bank account due to all the little expenses.

So wow, that was a lot of rambling. Glad I got it out there!

Just a note – I’m totally not a financial adviser, accountant etc. I took accounting in high school (yes I got an A+ but still) and I majored in Biological Anthropology = no financial classes at all.


I’ve been absent from this blog .. again. I’ve only been gone a week or so. So I’ve updated with a new layout just to changes things up and get myself back into the game.

Thanks to those of you who have nominated me for the Leibster Award and sorry that  I did not follow through on any of the rules/nominating of others.

Lately I’ve been keeping up with my 2014 reading goal and I have surpassed it. At first 14 books seemed like a lot, but I guess when you’re not in school constantly reading for class you have a lot more time to read other things. I should have upped my goal to 50! (I’m currently on number 18!) Hopefully I can continue to share the books I’ve read so that if others see the posts they can discover new books to read, because who doesn’t love that!?

Wedding planning is still in full affect and I am currently torn about where to actually get married. The reception hall is booked but there is still nowhere for our ceremony. Part of that is due to the fact that Christen churches around us want a ridiculous amount of money to have a ceremony there. (We’re talking almost $1000! – not worth it to me) So we’re looking into Catholic churches (I was baptized and raised Catholic). So now we need to think about if we want to do the classes required and blah blah blah.

We’re fighting our way out of the last bit of winter, and it is a rough battle. Just when you think it’s over, it comes back.

My job was up in the air for some time due to major changes but as of right now all is well and I’m so thankful to be employed.

My finances and whatnot are going well. It is one of my 25 by 25 to save money (for the wedding and school loans). I am quite proud of myself.

So, thank you to those who are continuing to read/follow my blog. If any of you exist …