growing up

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! 



May 13, 2014


It has been one year since I moved out of my parents’ home and into Danny’s.
(Which is now ours).

I moved in two months (exactly) before Danny came home from his deployment with the Marines.


I can’t even describe how the time has gone. It feels like I just moved
and yet it feels like it’s been years since Danny came home.

Within this year we’ve finished a deployment (well he did – you know what I mean).
I started a new job and we got Annabel.
Got engaged!
Along with a ton of other little things.

It was definitely the best decision ever.

I feel 110% at home there.

Danny is awesome – our life together is awesome.

the end.


(^^ June 2012)

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.

my birthday ‘party’

This is the second birthday I’m celebrating while with Danny…And the second one he missed because of the Marines.
At least this year he’s in the same country as me!

So since he was going to be gone for the whole weekend I decided to have a little
birthday get together with my girlfriends.


I had a lot of fun and I’m so glad I got to see them – it’s been months!

Annabel of course had a ton of fun and was completely worn out.

I can’t wait for Danny to get home from drill!

24 years old

Today I am 24 years old.

It feels like just yesterday I was 16-I was graduating high school-I was starting college.

When you’re young, 24 years old seems so … old.
I do not feel completely like an adult and at the same time I feel like life is going too quickly.

My life has changed so much and I have become a different person.
I have grown into the person that I am today and I believe that I am fully changed into
the person I am meant to be.

I have started my career and my life separate from my parents.
I have begun my own family with my own traditions.
I have created my own routine, established goals and plans.


And speaking of goals and plans …
I will set a goal of doing 25 things before I turn 25 … (holy shit! 25 is next!)

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.

24. Get custom rubber stamp for Danny and I

25. Enjoy life.