Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday's Letters

I was first introduced to the concept of Friday's Letters by Alyssa of The Bee's Knees a couple of weeks ago. The whole thing started with Ashely over at Adventures of Newlyweds (you can read more about how it all began here). I thought it was a great way to do a weekly wrap-up and decided that I would join in on the fun too. So, here it goes....


Dear Officer, thank you for pulling me over and making me aware that my headlight was out. I'm grateful that you didn't give me a ticket. Especially considering you pulled me over right in front of a Walmart where a replacement bulb could easily be purchased. Dear husband, thank you for replacing said light bulb. Dear Red Tails movie, the original Tuskegee Airmen was so much better! Dear weathermen (and women), once again, you have proved that you don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. First, the weather system wasn't suppose to become anything, then it turns into a tropical storm. Then, it was suppose to head toward Texas and become a category 1 hurricane. Did that happen? Nope. Instead we've had a tropical storm parked right off of our coast for the majority of the week. Dear TS Debby, thanks for the rain. We really did need it. I don't know if we necessarily needed that much though. Dear apartment complex, you really should put a system in place to automatically turn off the sprinklers when we have rain. Dear family, yes, we know you're excited about the possibility of grand kids/nieces/nephews/cousins. However, as we've said many, many, MANY times, we'd like to pay off a huge chunk of our debt before starting a family. Besides, we've not even been married for a year; let us enjoy being newlyweds for a little while. Dear laundry, do you ever end?? Dear turnpike, I don't think the 75 cents toll increase was really necessary. Dear mom, thanks for going out to lunch with me and trying out some place new to eat. Dear Hungry Howies, what ever happened to customer service? I'll go with Papa Johns next time I need dinner and I'm in Orlando. Dear mother-in-law, thank you for the movie tickets! People Like Us turned out to be a really good movie! Dear husband, I love you and I'm proud of you; the right job will come around eventually. Dear cellphone, I didn't mean to do it... it was only a tiny bit of water... please turn on again... I can't afford a new one.... Dear self, we've made it through 2 nights at the gym with this new couch-to-5k training, tonight is night 3. You can do it!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Family Dynamic

As promised, and in keeping with the family theme, I'm back with yet another Thirty Things post. Rather than focusing on the parents, this time we're focusing on the whole entire family.

Before we dive into the question, let me introduce you to my family....

First we have my Dad's side of the family. From left to right, you have my little brother, my dad, and then me. On the far right is my half-sister (from my dad's first marriage) and her two boys. Although she's my half-sister, I've always considered her a "full" sister because she's always been in my life.

And then we have the rest of the family. Well, sort of. My mom and stepdad weren't included in this picture. But, you'll recognize me (of course!), my brother, half-sister, and her two kids from the first picture. On the left is my stepsister and one of my stepbrothers (my other stepbrother and his four kids couldn't make it to the wedding). And scattered amongst everyone are their children. I should probably point out that my little brother does not have any kids of his own; he's holding my stepbrother's youngest.

Now that you've been familiarized with my crazy blended family, I think it's time to address the original question about how our family dynamic has changed over time. Because I can only speak for myself, I'll be describing the dynamic as I saw it and as it applied to me. I'm sure my siblings and parents might describe it differently than I do, but that's okay.
  • I played the middle man a lot between my mom and dad. Planning visitations. Relaying messages from one to the other. Trying to maintain a happy balance between Dad and Paul.
  • There was always lots of jealousy and arguing amongst my parents. Jealousy between Dad and Paul on many different levels. And of course, any time you have blended families, there's going to be differences in opinions on how children should be raised. Thus the arguing.
  • My brother and I got along as well as anyone would expect from a brother and sister. Me being the oldest, I always tried to "mommy" him and take care of him. Some might even say I tried to boss him around. Who am I kidding? I bossed him around. He of course liked to do the opposite of everything I told him. But again, what else would you expect?
  • My half-sister and I have always gotten along fairly well. There is a 6 year age gap between the two of us. But that never really seemed to matter. We didn't spend a whole lot of time growing up together - she always lived with her mom or our grandparents. But, whenever we spent the summers and holidays with Dad, we'd always spend time with her too. She was definitely a role model to me when I was younger.
  • My step siblings and I didn't get a long well at all. There was a lot of "them vs. us" in our family. My brother and I have always lived with my mom (and stepdad when he eventually moved in), but our step siblings came and went between Paul and their mother. So there was never a constant living arrangement. So, every time a new stepsibling came into the picture, things would be turned upside down. I think part of the problem also lied in the fact that there was such an age gap between us (there is an 8 year difference between myself and my stepsister, who is the youngest amongst her biological siblings). Granted there was an age gap between my half-sister and I, but the big difference is that she was always a part of my life - my stepsiblings really didn't enter the picture until I was maybe 10 years old.
  • I don't have to play middle man between my parents anymore. They're actually relatively civil now to one another when they have to talk. Granted, now that all of us kids are older, there is rarely an occasion where they need to talk. But, for my wedding everything was very cordial. And even now when dealing with my little brother's living situation, my parents have been able to handle things like adults.
  • My mom and I get a long better now that we don't have all the family drama in the way. For the most part my mom and I were always on the same side and of the same opinion. However, drama tends to put strain on any relationship.
  • My brother and I are civil to one another. He's done a lot of things in the past that has led to a lack of trust. I'm trying to look past all of it and let him grow up and right his wrongs, but its really hard to trust him again. The older he's gotten, the worse his temper has gotten, and it's simply just too hard to talk to him anymore.
  • The relationship between my half-sister and I has remained relatively the same. She made some bad decisions in her past as well, but she's learned from them and has rebuilt her life. I'm so proud of the way her life has turned out and the mother she has become to her two boys.
  • I get along really well with my step sister. She and I can hang out and do things together without arguing anymore. I feel like we've both grown up and moved past all of the childish things we use to argue about. I just wish we had done that a lot sooner; I feel like we missed a lot growing up hating each other.
  • My two step brothers on the other hand.... I don't talk to them. Period. For many reasons. Too many to get into. One brother lives in California, so I don't really have to talk to him or see him very often. The other one that lives locally - I only see him if we're having some sort of family function at my parents. and even then, I'm civil and I try to avoid talking to him or his family. He's done and said a lot of insulting things over the years and has never apologized. I try not to hold a grudge against him. But, I've resolved that I'm not going to put myself in a position to be insulted or hurt again.

Well, there you have it. An in depth look into my family. Rereading everything, it's probably more than I really should share over the internet. But, I don't want to pretend like I came from some sort of perfect family. I felt like this was one of those posts where "keeping it real" was better than giving you some "prettied up" version.

So forgive me if this is getting too personal, but what is your family like? Do you get along better now than you did years ago? Or do you wish things would go back to how they use to be? Or maybe you came from a Leave It To Beaver family? It's okay, sometimes I like to pretend like I did too. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Parental Relations

So, there hasn't been a lot going on around here lately. I've got two straight weeks of summer vacation where I don't have any obligations to workshops or conferences. Cleaning the apartment has been on the top of my to-do list. And I'm sure you don't want to hear about my adventures with laundry. So, I figured I'd continue on with another Thirty Things post. Today's topic:

#3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

I think all of us have unique relationships with our parents. But, we all go through the same phases in life: As infants, we rely on our parents for everything. As children, we're looking for ways to become more independent. As we become teenagers, we think we're right about everything, our parents are out to make our lives miserable, and we rely more on our peers for advice. Then we become adults and realize that maybe our parents aren't that bad after all, and that they we're only doing what they felt was best for us. Taking all of that into consideration, I figured I'd skip over most of the "growing up" phases and jump right into present day.

But first, I should probably let you know that my parents divorced when I was in first grade. I was maybe 6 years old? Can't really remember anymore. My Dad never remarried. My Mom dated a man named Paul for many, many years after the divorce. They finally got married when I was a freshman in high school. Because it took so long for them to get married, my brother and I never learned to call him "dad" or any other form of the word. He was simply "Paul." And that was by his choice; he always said that we already have a Daddy and he didn't want to take that away from him. And his kids call my mom "Nancy" rather than some form of "mom" for the same reason.

Now that you have some background...

My Dad

I would describe my relationship with my Dad as distant, mainly due to miles. Right after the divorce, my brother and I would get to see Dad every other weekend. But, he eventually moved back to Georgia to be closer to his side of the family, which meant we didn't get to see him as often. I think because of this, we have always had a somewhat superficial relationship. 

I worry about him. Mainly about his health. And I worry about his financial status. Sometimes I wish there was more that I could do to help him. But it's hard when we live 5 hours apart from each other, and I know can only do so much. It still doesn't stop me from feeling guilty though. It doesn't stop me from feeling like I'm not doing enough.

He lives in a place where cell phone reception is nonexistent, so we don't get to talk often. He's usually the one who calls first. It never seems like we get to the "deeper" or "bigger" issues in our conversations because we're so busy catching up on the day-to-day stuff that happened since the last time we talked. But, he asks a lot of questions about what is going on in my life and in the hubby's life, which really shows that he cares.

My Mom & Paul

Of my three parents, I'm probably the closest to my mom. It's probably because of the whole mother-daughter relationship thing. But I think it more has to do with the fact that I always respected my mom for everything she did (and continues to do) for my brother and I. 

Recently I asked if she was experiencing "empty nest syndrome" since I was the last kid to move out. She said no, except for when she gets in a mood to go shopping and she doesn't have anyone to go with her. But considering the fact that I call her all the time, it's as though I'm not that far from home. I probably call her two or three times a week. Sometimes for something specific. But usually for no reason at all.
I would describe my relationship with my stepdad as strained. Only recently has it gotten better. We argued a lot. Sometimes it was my fault. Sometimes it was his. Sometimes I don't know what even started the arguments. We don't agree on many things. But now I've learned to accept it, smile and nod, or walk away. Growing up, though, my stubborness got the better of me the majority of the time. I think moving out and living on my own has been the best thing for our relationship. It's given me the ability to look at him from a different point of view.

Continuing with the family theme, I'll be back tomorrow with more of an inside look into our family dynamic and how it has changed over time. But, in the meantime, let's talk about your family. Do you get along with your parents better now that you're older? Or have you always had a great relationship with them?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pinterest Gadget for Blogger

I wanted to pop in quickly and share another blog feature that I stumbled across today. I noticed on another blogger's page the fact that they had some sort of gadget in their sidebar that featured their most recent pins on Pinterest. Immediately my thought was "I want one!!"

So, I searched around on Google and realized that the specific gadget I was looking at was only for WordPress blogs. Boo! But... more searching and I came across this incredibly helpful blog that has everything you need to know to install your own Pinterest gadget on your sidebar.

If you'd like a Pinterest gadget for your sidebar, check out Code It Pretty's tutorial here. And, don't forget to check out the IE9 bug fix that she talks about here - otherwise IE users will be able to see the pins in your sidebar, but they won't be directly linked to your pinterest page.

Happy pinning!

Popular Notion

There were many notions that came to mind when I read this question. But, I think there one that has recently become so popular that it's worth addressing:

Life owes me something. I am entitled to ____________.
I'm sorry folks. But life doesn't owe you anything. People don't owe you anything. Sure, you are entitled. Entitled to work hard for what you want in life. However, you are not entitled to a job. You are not entitled to a house. You are not entitled to a monthly check from the government. You are not entitled to an iPad or a computer. You are not entitled to a fancy car. You are not entitled to a college education. If you want these things in life, you need to make them happen. Don't just wait for life to be handed to you. Because while you wait, someone else in the world just took what you were looking for.

I could go on and on about this popular notion and how society has it all wrong. However, to continue would lead to me rambling on and on about a problem I'm not quite sure how to go about fixing. So, I'll just stop here. You can thank me later.

But, I will leave you with this: While roaming around online, I came across this article about how giving children an allowance may be aiding in the entitlement effect. Interesting read. Won't say I agree 100% with everything in the article. Just some food for thought.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Time for another Thirty Things post. On the agenda today:

#5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1. My Husband
2. Our Pets
3. Our Home/Apartment
4. Summer
5. Blogging

At first I thought I would write little explanations for each one, but then I realized that each of these are pretty self explanatory. What makes you happy?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dream Home

It feels so good to be home after being gone for 5 days for a teaching conference. And the coolest part about it was on the drive home actually realizing that this little town and our little apartment is finally feeling like HOME. Having spent time in Orlando, my old home, I now realize that I don't miss it all that much. The hubby and I have set up our lives in this small rural community, and I finally feel like it is us and this is where we are meant to be. I wish I was better at putting it into words exactly what this shift in thinking feels like, but I don't think I'd do it justice.

So, I figured I'd wrap up this week with another Thirty Things post. For this topic, I'll be answering...

#19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

How fitting, right?
Initially I thought about all the exotic places around the world that I would love to live. Europe. The Caribbean. Austrailia. But then I realized a couple things. First of all, I'm really crummy at learning a new language, so I'd have to go somewhere where English is the primary language spoken. Secondly, I'd eventually miss my family too  much, and plane tickets are expensive, so I needed to shift my focus somewhere stateside.

And then it hit me... North Carolina. I actually thought about moving to North Carolina for college back when I was in high school. Then I realized how much out-of-state tuition cost and I decided against the idea. But North Carolina is a place both the hubby and I have talked about living in. Ideally, we'd love to purchase a home up there and turn it into a vaction rental. But that obviously is way down the road from where we are now.

We've been to North Carolina twice now as a couple. Once to a summer camp in Andrews after our senior year in high school. And most recently on a trip in 2010 with a group of friends to Maggie Valley.

But why North Carolina? Mountains. Coastline. Rivers. Seasons (the seasons here in Florida are Hot, Hurricane, Rainy, and Humid). And it's not too far from either of our families. I've always loved living in the South. Although Florida is probably the most northern southern state thanks to all of the snowbirds. And I love the tradition that is down here. It's definitely where I want to raise a family.

I think the biggest bonus to the state is that it offers so many outdoor activities. Hiking. Biking. Kayaking. White water rafting. We've both been white water rafting down the Nantahala before with a summer camp, and we'd LOVE to do it again.

I think what I would look forward to the most is scuba diving and exploring all of the ship wreckage off of the Carolina Coastline. Ever since we went scuba diving on our honeymoon, we've been looking for an excuse to go again. The hubby and I can't wait until we can afford to be scuba certified. I know the beach and the mountains, for the most part, are on opposite sides of the state, but I don't care. Just the fact that one state can offer so much is exciting.

Dan after our scuba diving trip in the Caribbean

But probably the biggest selling feature of the entire state is the fact that it is simply beautiful! I mean, check out the scenery!

  from google images

from google images 

Seriously. Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning to a porch view like that? But in all honesty, I think that as long as I'm with my husband and our little family, I'm going to be happy no matter where we set down our roots. Realizing that on the way home today has given me so much comfort.

Now its your turn. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hootie Hoo

As I mentioned previously, I spent an entire day last week roaming around town and shopping with my mom. We weren't shopping for anything specific. Just enjoying being able to look at new things and imagining where to incorporate them into our homes.

In one of the stores, Tuesday Mornings, we came across a bunch of glass owl vases in different colors. It was love at first sight! And when we managed to find one in a teal/turquoise color (my new favorite color - and not just because we used it in our wedding), I knew I had to take one home.

But, I wasn't a fan of the price...

Sure, $15 isn't that big of a deal, but I had already spent $20 that day on the mirror frame. And considering we're on a tight summer budget, I wasn't planning on spending a whole lot of money on this shopping trip. As I stood there having an internal fight with myself over whether to get the owl, and knowing the hubby probably wouldn't be too thrilled, my mom stepped in and saved they day. She proclaimed it was her gift to me, and that she would buy it. Have I ever mentioned that I love my mom? Because I do. And not just because she buys me cute little turquoise owls. She's amazing!

So, the owl came home with me. And I had the perfect place in mind to place him - our new dining room buffet

I paired the owl with a glass hurricane lamp (which you can't have too many of, if you ask my mom) and a small brown votive candle.

I love our new little animal addition. I seriously get a big smile on my face every time I see it. Have you brought home any pieces lately that bring a smile to your face? Maybe you have a specific animal you tend to prefer in your design choices? Or maybe color glass is simply right up your alley?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Budgeting Tips

Summer can be tough when it comes to budgeting and money. Our little family is no exception. Probably the toughest part about our situation is the fact that, as a teacher, I don't get paid regularly throughout the summer. Even though I get 24 pay checks throughout the year like normal working people do, I get all of my summer checks in one lump sum at the end of every school year. Our checking account looks mighty pretty that last week of school! But knowing that I won't get paid again until mid-August is a little scary. 

So, we've learned to plan ahead and incorporate little things into our routine that helps us not only save money, but also makes sure that we're not counting pennies come August. I thought I'd share some of our tips with you in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

1. Pay your bills early. Even though it takes both my paycheck and the hubby's paycheck to get us through each month, when I get all of my summer check at once, there is enough money to cover all of our utilities and rent bills for the entire summer. So, we make our June and July payments at the same time which gets us through the rest of summer. Then, we use the hubby's paychecks for groceries and gasoline and whatever little things pop up.
Be sure to call your utilities companies ahead of time to make sure that they'll accept over-payment. Most won't have a problem with it and will simply apply it as a credit to your account. However, some loan companies (i.e. student loans, car loans, mortgages) will take your over-payment, apply it to your account, but still require another minimum payment the following month. If the company won't allow you to pay ahead, another option is to get money orders from your bank. They'll last up to 90 days and are as good as sending cash or a check. And the money will be out of your account and there won't be any risk of accidentally spending it.

2. Get a summer job or sell some stuff. One thing I try to do to help our summer budget stretch is to attend a couple of teaching workshops throughout the summer. I might not get paid my full hourly pay rate for every workshop I attend, but even a little bit of money helps. If you don't have the chance to do some side jobs over the summer for your current employer, you could always look at getting a small part-time seasonal position somewhere. Or, even consider holding a yard sale and getting rid of some clutter to make a few extra bucks.
3. Turn up the a/c a couple of degrees. And, as you've already learned, I hate the heat and prefer our apartment to be cold. We tend to keep the a/c turned down to 74 degrees when we're home and have the ceiling fans going. But, while I'm home during the day and the hubby is at work, I turn the a/c up as warm as I can stand it and still be comfortable. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm sitting around the house sweating to death. But, I turn the a/c up to anywhere between 77 and 80 degrees. I use a box fan in whatever room I'm sitting in to help with air circulation. Ultimately, cooling down the room I'm in versus cooling down the entire apartment saves money on our electric bill.
4. Limit day trips. I know, it's easier said than done. Especially when you're getting cabin fever. But, by limiting my trips outside of the house, I'm saving money on gasoline. Not only that, I'm less tempted to buy new things for the apartment. So, I make a point to have a to-do list so that I can keep focused and motivated throughout the day. I'm less likely to get bored. But, in case I do get bored...
5. Have cheap entertainment on hand. There are so many things that can fit into this category. One thing that I have relied heavily on these past couple of weeks is books. Sign up for a library card and check out books for free. Or, hit up the thrift stores and find a couple of books Another thing is to rent a couple of movies from Redbox. It gives me the opportunity to watch some of those chick flicks that the hubby would rather not watch. Or, raid your own movie collection and watch some of those old favorites that you haven't seen in a while.

 6. Plan your meals ahead of time. One quick way to save money is to watch what you're eating. When you're sitting around the house all day, it's a lot easier to snack. By making a plan before you go grocery shopping, you can ensure that you're only buying food you absolutely need to have on hand. Sure, stock up on a couple of snacks. But, limit the number of snacks you have in the pantry. The fewer mouths there are to feed in your house, I'm assuming the easier this is.

These tips don't necessarily save us hundreds of dollars, but in the summer time, it definitely helps keep our budget on track. I hope some of these tips help you stretch your dollars to make it through the hot months of summer. What things do you do around your house to cut costs?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


#18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

This question was a really hard one for me. Not because I couldn't come up with an answer - that was actually really easy. But, I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about it and share it with everyone who stumbles across this little blog.

When people say that they're sorry, and you accept their apology, some people automatically assume that they are forgiven. But, I've learned that there are some things in life that take more than a simply apology. Some things require time. Time to forgive. Time to move past whatever happened. And to a point, time to forget. That's something that is really difficult for me to do. I'm one of those people who remember all the little details. I'm one of those people that question all of the "what ifs" that could have prevented things from happening. But, with time, I learn to accept that what has happened has happened, and I can't change the past. However, I can choose to move forward, learn from mistakes and experiences, and grow from them. 

After debating it back and forth inside my head, I've decided that I'm not going to discuss what it is that I've forgiven. I know it might sound like a cop-out, but this is something that I know is right for me. It's not going to do me any good to rehash the details of a past offense. And its really no one else's business but mine and the person who committed the offense. Besides, if the offense has truly been forgiven, which it has, then it makes the most sense to move on.

I found this quote from an unknown source, and I think it sums things up perfectly...

"Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope  for our future." 

Monday, June 18, 2012

In Case You Happen To....

....notice a few errors or typos in the blog posts with week, please bear with me. Last Friday I wrote a post for every day this week in anticipation of being at a Common Core Standards workshop this week. My plan was to proofread the posts the night before they went live, since I pre-scheduled when they would post. However, it doesn't look like I get wireless access in my hotel room, so my plan has back fired. Right now I'm using the Blogger app for the first time (so hopefully this works as planned) on my phone.

So, if you see typos, rambling sentences, or something that might say {link} or {insert}where I'm suppose to go back and add something, just ignore them for the time being. I promise to fix them Thursday night when I'm finally back home.

Also, I'm not sure if this app will let me moderate comments or not. So if you're not seeing your comment show up,I promise its not because I'm ignoring you.

Here's hoping your Monday has been better than mine!

Dining Room Word Art Inspiration

This is a brainstorming post of sorts. Last Wednesday my mom came into town and the two of us went shopping. While we were out and about, we stopped at a store called Dockside, and I came across this little guy for $20 in the clearance section. Excuse the blurry cell phone pic. 

It looks like it was once a mirror, but the mirror itself must have fallen out. There weren't any others like it in the store to compare it to. But, I loved the black metal look of it with the bits of sparkle. I immediately thought of the empty wall in our dining room. The black would go well (much at the risk of being too matchy-matchy) with the black photos on the gallery wall and the black metal dining table that we already have.

My first thoughts were to chalkboard the inside of the piece and use it as sort of a menu board. But, the hubby wasn't a fan of that idea. Another option, that my mom thought of, was to find a piece of fabric or even wrapping paper and place it inside. Not a bad idea, but I was afraid it would look too plain or too much like a bulletin board. Then, while we were walking around in Kirklands, I kept seeing these large frames with sayings about family in them and immediately I knew what I wanted to do - find a meaningful and/or cute saying and paint it inside the mirror frame. And if I can manage to find it in vinyl, that'd only make my job easier!

So, I turned to pinterest to search for sayings that might fit well in our dining room. Some sayings talk specifically about food or eating, while others talk about family and love, and still others are quotes that I just happen to really like.

Who doesn't love some Winnie the Pooh??

I think this one is a contender:

{pin/source no longer available}

Maybe turn it into a "house rules" board?

This scripture was said during our vows. Traditional, but might be nice to tie into our home

Simple, but I like it.

I'm still having a hard time deciding which one I like best. I'll probably have to hand-paint whatever phrase we end up choosing. Of course, since I'm not much of an artist, that poses a bit of a problem. Maybe I can find a vinyl to put in the frame instead? Or chalkboard the inside so that I could change up the saying whenever I felt like it.

Which one is your favorite? Or is there a saying/quote I'm missing here that you really like? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seashells & Coins

My Grandma is responsible for this quick and simple update. A few weekends ago she found this glass vase filled with seashells and coins at a yard sale. She bought the vase simply because she wanted to know how much money (in coins mind you) was inside the vase. I think I was told that she bought the vase for $2. Yep, that's my Grandma. Once she had all the coinage from the vase (which oddly enough totaled out to more than $2 - Grandma knows a deal when she sees one!), she no longer wanted the vase. And she no longer wanted the seashells. So, she passed them onto my mom.

While visiting my mom, I noticed the odd shaped vase on her kitchen counter. Then I got the full story on how she inherited it. She said all she really wanted was the seashells. She didn't even care about the vase, and offered it to me. I loved the way the seashells looked inside the vase, and thought that the look would be perfect for our guest bathroom. So, the vase came home with me.

Once the vase was home, I cleaned it up a little bit (it had some wax on it - I guess at one point someone put a candle inside of it) and then filled it with our seashells that we've collected over the past couple of years. The vase found a new home in the corner of the counter top.

Obviously this bathroom doesn't get used as often and needs a little dusting... don't judge.

It's a simple update that has made a huge impact to the space. And it's nice to see our beachy finds on display rather than sitting in a drawer, which is where they use to reside. Funny how a $2 yard sale find found its way into 3 different homes.

How do you display your vacation finds? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


#8. What are 5 passions that you have?


I think this one goes without much explanation. I love my husband. He's my best friend. I love the relationship we have. And I plan on doing everything within my power to keep our marriage strong. I don't want to be a divorce statistic.
This applies to the family I grew up with, the family I married into, and the family the husband and I have started and will continue to build in the future. As much as my family can drive me crazy, I still love them and want the best for them. Whenever possible I try to help where I'm needed. Mostly that puts me in the role of "sounding board" and I'm okay with that.
Considering I'm a teacher, this one should come as no surprise. I believe having an education is key. Sure, you may not get a job in the degree you study. But just having a desire to learn something new - to seek out new ideas - will take you far.

To be debt free is a passion that's slowly growing inside of me. The hubby and I have officially started working on our debt snowball, and seeing the payoff amount numbers drop each month is exciting. I cannot wait until we're finally controling our money rather than our money controlling us.
Although this one could technically tie into "Financial Freedom," this has been a passion of mine long before the desire to be debt free. Being able to find a deal and save money wherever possible seriously brings a smile to my face. Thrift stores and clearance bins are my idea of a good time.

What are you passionate about?


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