Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Last week was b-a-n-a-n-a-s and this week will prove to be the same. I made use of the two days furloughed from work by reuniting with my good friend Dallas (and our mutual friend Jack Daniels... more on that later), snagging my mom's sewing machine, and doing some old fashioned chores.

Dallas and I worked together on the ASUU Sustainability Board at school. In addition to enacting some serious change at school, we were best buds. (We make a good team) My favorite memories from senior year often involve getting a mid-day Friday buzz with Dallas at Green Street and then going home to take a nap. Ahhh those were the days.

Since then we've both taken the marriage plunge and purchased houses. He managed to one-up me though because he and Liz are expecting a baby this summer. I'm in no hurry to catch up to him.

Anyway, we don't get to have very much one-on-one friend time anymore and were both really excited to hang out on Friday night. Dinner at Bajio was followed by bar hopping in Sugarhouse (enter Mr. Jack Daniels) and ended with hip hop dancing at the latino nightclub Karamba. Holly hell. I haven't danced that hard, laughed that much, or stayed up that late in a long time!

In keeping with the evolution process of our house, I decided to snag my mom's sewing machine and figure out how to sew new chair pad covers for our dining room. I'm not one for following a pattern or really thinking things through, but I somehow managed to make four awesome chair pad covers. Truth be told, I still need to finish attaching the velcro closures on three of them. Nevertheless, it was a success! Thanks to Laura for her much needed words of encouragement and advice throughout the ordeal.

Today was spent cleaning, sewing, doing laundry, and putting together our first real budget. Dun-dun-dun!

It was scary (the budget, not the cleaning) but we managed to do it the Dave Ramsey way. This time next month we will begin the snow ball debt destroying process! We're also attending Financial Peace University on Sundays beginning this month and I am super excited about it.

But I have to make a confession, too. I promised Jason that I was finished spending unnecessary money on house-related expenses. But then I spent $60 at the fabric store. I felt guilty about it the moment the total flashed on the register. But like I told Jason, this will have to be a gradual change for me and I am still making progress. There. I feel better... and my butt feels good on these new cushions.

Thanks for reading this super long rambling post about my weekend. You're a real friend.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I've been converted

For our anniversary, Jason gave me a Kindle. I l-o-v-e my Kindle. The instantaneous books and portability won me over in less than 10 minutes of use. But this post is not about my conversion from a hardcopy book lover to a Kindle believer. Stay with me here...

My best friend Kirstin gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday. Knowing that I was a Kindle addict (and being one herself) this was a wonderful gift. The first book I purchased was called Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. (It was great, and I highly recommend it.) But it was my 2nd digital purchase that may have changed my life forever.

I purchased Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I'm 51% of the way through it (I know this because my handy Kindle told me so) and already applying the principles to our life (Jason is roped in even though he hasn't read it...yet!)

We are ready. We are going to navigate our debt with gazelle intensity. I've started evaluating how much I could get for everything in my house that's not nailed down... including the wondrous blue curio cabinet from a few posts down (any offers?). Just keep your hands off my Kindle. I need that for the Baby Steps.

You may be wondering, how much debt could they possibly have? Well, we don't have as much as the "average American" but we have enough that I feel held back. I'm tired of giving my paycheck to other people.

My biggest financial downfall is something that I confessed to being obsessed with in my last post. My purchases tend to be small, like less than $20 at a time, but I make many of them. They add up fast and before I know it, I've spent $300 and have a bunch of small "things" to show for it. Well not anymore!

If I start pulling out seemingly weird phrases like, "I can't get coffee with you because I want to live like no one else," you'll know where it's coming from. This process is not going to be easy or anywhere near it. But it will be worth it. Your support and encouragement will go a long way.

So you see, Kirstin didn't just give me a gift card, she has single handedly impacted our future. Thanks, K.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Acquisitions

Want to know why I look forward to weekends? No, it's not because I get to sleep in (although that is a bonus). It's not because emails can go unanswered or phone calls silenced (also a perk).
I love weekends because I finally have time to comb thrift stores for treasures. The hunt is my favorite part. You never know what cool stuff is waiting for you. 

Just check out what I found this weekend!

Perfect new (to me) desk chair: $10

Pair of beautiful patina lamps: $16
(I know I've found something cool when everyone in the store stops me to remark/lust after them. Hands off... they're mine!)

Old books in just the right colors with hidden history: $9
Pottery Barn paisley table runner: $10

 Bringing the entry table together: Priceless 
(The lamp on the right needs a little repair. I'm going to become well-versed in lamp mechanics soon)

And if I ever need a reminder why I love living here, this will do the trick. 

Monday, January 10, 2011


As previously blogged, I have become consumed with house related projects. Now that I own 2,700 square feet I have been concentrating on finding furniture so that it's not so sparse. Considering we moved from a space half the size, I have a lot of room to work with. Enter KSL and Craigslist. I am borderline obsessed with these sites. I check them numerous times each day (or hour depending on what else is going on) and even look in neighboring cities. I'm lucky enough to sit between two cities with their own Craigslist pages, and I've learned that the goods in Provo are just as good but cheaper than those in Salt Lake.

This weekend I coerced my dearest hubby into venturing to dreaded Utah County to look at a curio cabinet I found on CL. I think he was equal parts concerned that I'd be abducted into a cult if I went alone and tempted by my offer of Bajio after checking out the goods.

The goods were better than good and a deal was struck. We loaded the cabinet into J's car and squeeeeezed into the front seats. I delivered on my promise of Bajio and then we made the trek home.

When we arrived I threw my index fingers at the sky like a wide receiver and our garage was the end zone. I am so grateful we made it home safe because any other outcome would have been disastrous for us... and the cabinet.

(It was worth the risk and $75)

The question remains, do I leave it in its current state (read: wonderfully distressed) Or do I paint it and what color? 

Next project... finishing our bedroom. Mr. J doesn't see the harm in leaving the mattresses on the floor, but I do! We need a bed frame. That reminds me, I haven't checked CL in like 2 hours... wish me luck!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New House Woes

Since purchasing our home a few months ago, all I've managed to do is paint our bedroom and begin choosing paint colors for other rooms. Building other people's homes took precedence over personalizing my new house. I'm also in the middle of refinishing a desk for my office. The thing that I don't want to be bothered with but have no choice right now is our plumbing. This weekend the temperature in Hickville (a.k.a. Heber) fell to -14 overnight. You read that right. -14! A few of our lines froze as a result and we've  been trying to unthaw them ever since. So far Jason's shower and the washer are better, but the potty in my bathroom still doesn't work. Even worse than the frozen pipes is the clog in our main line. I'll save you the details, but there is a lot of junk pouring UP through the drain in our utility room. A drain is supposed to suck down, not push shit up. We rented a snake and went to town, but it's not budging. The professionals will be here in the morning. I'm hoping that by the end of tomorrow I can 1. Use my toilet and 2. Go back to dreaming about paint colors rather than sewer lines.

Pictures to follow! (Don't worry. I won't post pictures of the junk - just the beautiful color of our room!)