Some Thoughts On "Getting Out of Debt" Blog Posts

I realize that this in itself is about to be a getting out of debt blog post, so I want to say something that has been bugging me for longer than I've been fully committed to getting out of debt: there is no one way to do this. There is no right way that if you follow the steps you'll magically be rolling in money. I confess, I see the constant barrage of people making six figures selling fitness shakes, and I wonder could that be what I need to do? Even though I know that's not in my comfort zone, I am not an outward sales person. [THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION FOR YOU TO TELL ME "YES YOU CAN GIRLFRIEND! HERE'S HOW I DID IT! BE A COACH/REP WITH ME!"]
What kind of prompted this post was an instagram post I saw. It said that people are mistaken thinking coming into $20,000 will miraculously solve all of their money problems. That their money problems are deep seeded. That post was clearly not for me, but it made me feel some type of way. For me personally, if I could just come into $20,000, I would be able to pay off nearly all of my credit card consolidation loan. Which would then free up that loan payment I'm making every month ($613) to be used for real life things. If I had the extra $613 in my budget every month, I would run a surplus based on my current situation. $20,000 is a life changing amount of money for just about anyone. To assume that the only reason someone is in debt is because they're fiscally irresponsible or living recklessly above their means is, to me, quite insulting. 

I think I mentioned before, we run a zero line budget. Sometimes things come up that are over the budget, and they have to go on the credit card. That's not ideal, but I can't predict the gas bill from month to month, even if we're trying not to use the heat. I can't predict exactly how much gas I will need. I can't predict if the dishwasher is going to suddenly stop working, or the washing machine will suddenly start flooding the basement. If you have the inside on how to predict those things, I would looooove to hear your secrets. I didn't mean for this to be two very long paragraphs about something that wasn't for me, I'm not trying to boo someone's yay. I just had a lot of feelings about that particular gram. 

I just have come to the conclusion that I'm not going to find solace in all of the people publicly dealing with their consumer and student loan debt. Sometimes, it will bring me cool things though -- I ran across Debt Free Charts on Pinterest the other day, and now I get to color in as I make debt payments. It's a small joy, but it's a joy just the same. I can visualize the destination. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Plus, I'm a child, so I really enjoy coloring. 

A blog collection I would like to see, and will promptly scroll pinterest for hours later tonight for, is landscaping on a budget. I want ALL OF THE FLOWERS. I genuinely want our beds to be overfull, I love that cottage look. I am NOT patient enough to wait three years to plant bulbs, let them sleep the first year, creep the second year, THEN leap the third year. Come on little flowers! I've also decided to build a fence between me and the lady next door in our front yard, but the city expressively forbids using pallets, which was my relatively inexpensive idea. Do y'all have budget friendly yard tips? Right now, I'm honestly just splitting all of the lilies and hoping for the best.  

What I Loved In March

Every month, Chelsea does a "What March Taught Me" but obviously, changing the month names. She talks about growing  and learning and all of the things we do in a month. I wanted to combine that idea with what I read, did, and loved in March. So here are all of the things I loved in March! 

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MANAGING MIGRAINES. I have a love hate relationship with spring. I love love love everything about it. I hate that the things I love also tend to trigger my migraines. I LOVE thunderstorms, but the shift in the atmospheric pressure can literally knock me out of commission for the day. I used to feel like this was a crazy thing, but then started to meet other people who had the same problem. I swear by this headache hat. You keep it in the freezer and then strap it to your head. It looks ridiculous, but I love it. I can put this on and lay down and I don't have to worry about everything getting wet, or I can wear it and keep doing whatever it is I need to be doing that day. Staring at the computer screen all day also gets me. Thanks to Becca, I installed f.lux to lower the blue light on my computer monitors, and I picked up this pair of blue blocking glasses from Amazon. The combination has helped substantially with my eyeballs straining. 

SAVANNAH. We went down to Savannah to celebrate one of my dearest friends turning 30, (lots of big 3-0 birthdays this year) and to hang out at the second largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the US. We walked a million steps, drank lots of beer (oddly enough, I didn't have a single green beer that entire weekend), and laughed a lot. It was juuuuust warm enough to wear a fun sun dress - which I'm very ready for the weather to come back in. Old Navy recently had a sale where I stocked up on my swing dresses and the jeggings. I now LIVE in the Old Navy jeggings. I don't ever want to wear my real jeans again (and not just because I ran them all in the dryer and now it's a fight to button them. that is my own fault.

BOOKS. I didn't get as much fun reading done as I wanted to in March, because I'm working on getting my real estate license. So I read three whole books if you count the book I have to read for my real estate classes. Not counting the textbook, I read Murder on the Orient Express and What the Wind Knows

Murder on the Orient Express: I snagged this one off the "Amazon Daily Kindle Deals" e-mail, which I cannot recommend enough if you're reading Kindle books. I originally wanted to read all of the Hercule Poirot books in order, but I also wanted to read this before I saw the new version of the movie, so I had to skip ahead. The Hercule Poirot mysteries aren't really the kind you have to read in order, I just wanted to. ANYWAYS. I give this all the stars, especially if you haven't seen the movie yet. SO GOOD.

What the Wind Knows: So Amazon does a thing where they have like, four or five books to choose one for free a month on Kindle. This e-mail seems to miss my inbox and get lost in the "promotions" tab of my gmail, which is SUPER overwhelming, so I usually ignore it unless I need a coupon. The synopsis of this seemed to fit with my normal books: time travel, history, love story, drama, & war. I figured, it's free to me this month, why not? YALL. I absolutely devoured this book. I read it in less than two days and it broke. my. heart. I laughed, I ugly cried, it is SO so SO SO good. It's on Kindle Unlimited right now, so it's free if you have the subscription and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend it.

So many things happened in March that last Sunday that we had lunch and raked some leaves and that was IT. I love going out and doing things and I have a really hard time saying "no" because I can't always get on my friend's schedules so I almost always say yes. Taking last Sunday to read my book and barely get out of pajamas was some much needed self-care time. How was your March? 


WE MADE IT! Happy happy first day of spring my friends. I know that pollen is coming, I saw it just waiting to drop off of all the trees on the way back from Savannah and I even noticed a slight yellow tint to the top of my car, but honestly, I am READY FOR IT. Bring it on. I've stocked up on allergy meds and I will defeat the pollen season (check back in with me when the entire state of Georgia turns yellow.)

Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking
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I am so excited for all of the spring things. 8 days until MLB season opens, 12 days until the Braves home opener. I already know exactly what I'm going to wear, planning for all different weather variations that April offers in Georgia. (PS where did March go? January & February lasted six years and March lasted exactly 12 straight rainy days.

It's also the time of year I sweaaaaaaaaaar I'll run the Peachtree. It's not happening this year. I want to get in shape, but I've accepted that I like the social aspect of the Peachtree more than any of the other parts. NOW on to more important Peachtree issues -- which tank top do I want to wear? In the past I've had some really good ones. Last year it was America the Brewtiful and the year before that it was Raise You Hand If You've Ever Been Personally Victimized by King George III. So this year has some pretty big shoes to fill. Send me ALL of your punny reccomendations. The Peachtree is on the 4th of July so I usually go with a USA theme, but one year I had one specially made that was Darth Vadar & said "who's your daddy?" (I love this tank top, I giggle every time I put it on. I'm really cool guys.)

I am also excited for patio cocktail season. I don't know about y'all, but cocktails outside just taste better. Don't even get me started about cocktails by the pool. Those are my absolute favorite. Really, cocktails in any body of water, I'm not picky as long as the sun is shining and I'm out there IN it. Obviously wearing all of the sunscreen. I'm really excited to try this Central Side Cocktail Elle shared a couple of weeks ago while sitting in the glider I literally put blood, sweat, and tears into putting together. Or walk the littlest monster to a nice outdoor patio and have someone else prepare the cocktails for me......

What spring things are you looking forward to? Do you have any spring cocktails I need to try? Or a favorite, punny tanktop for me to get for the Peachtree? Give it aaalllll to me. 

March Coffee Date

HAPPY FRIDAY GUYS. I'm glad we all survived The Great Instagram/Facebook blackout of 2019. I'm sitting here at work, doing literally anything but working, because I'm leaving for Savannah for St. Patrick's Day in an amount of time I have worked down into minutes. Lots of minutes, but still minutes. So obviously time has come to a complete stop. It's fiiiiiiiiiine. 

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If we were having coffee, I would probably SHOUT about my crazy neighbor. She's this tiny, hundred year old lady, who is completely off her rocker. I'm sure she's harmless, but she's been my neighbor for 3 years now and has been accusing me of "sweeping" my leaves into her yard for all three. What she does, presumably because she feels like she's getting me back, is RAKE HER LEAVES AND CARRY THE PILES INTO MY DRIVEWAY. Y'all. I'm not making this up. Forget that I'm the only person on the street who doesn't blow my leaves into the street or the "woods" on our street. This woman is the one ACTUALLY putting leaves in someone else's yard. If she wasn't tiny and old, I don't know if I could keep my cool. Instead, we're going to get at trail camera and mount it on the tree in the front yard to catch her in the act. I seriously doubt this will do anything to deter her, but I will have video proof that I am in the right. 

If we were having coffee, I would ask if as soon as I'm back from Savannah is too soon to start packing for my trip to Cancun. We're going for FIVE whole days at the end of July to celebrate a 30th birthday. I'm ready to pack my suitcase with these super fun packing cubes but I am NOT ready to start trying on swimsuits. I do have my eye on this swimsuit cover up though...  Have you been to Mexico? We're super SUPER pumped.

If we were having coffee, I would admit that Instagram has been getting me down lately. I feel like my pictures have to be *perfect* and that I have to come up with the wittiest caption, and then either everyone hates them, or no one sees them. I realize it's a silly thing to be worried about, but here we are. How do y'all fight the instagram blues?

If we were having coffee, I'd ask if you saw Lindsay's post earlier this week about doing something you enjoy. If not, I'd wait for you to read it because it's a challenge we should all get on board with.

That's it for me! What would you tell me if we were having coffee today? Are you doing anything exciting this weekend? Tell me tell me tell meeeee

Adventures of Albus!

I am so pumped for the weather to get better because that means oh-so-many more walks with everyone's favorite little monster. Last year, they opened a new pedestrian bridge that connected my house with the Marietta Square, it's a quick little almost a mile walk down to all of our favorite places. If you follow me on instagram you'll know that we basically live at the Glover Park Brewery
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My mom makes fun of me, because she says I have a diaper bag for when we go on our little walks. It's true though, I have this cute little kavu bag that I bought a few years ago for when we went on hiking adventures, but now it's my go to when we're walking for fun too. I can pack a couple of bags of treats, a spare roll of poop bags, my wallet, a house key, and whatever other things I need to take with me on the walk. I haven't bought a bag of treats since I signed Albus up for the BarkBox - since he gets two full sized bags of treats in the box, that's usually how many bags we need to get through a month. 

I also have a post saved in my drafts about whether or not I'm sure my dog needed a certain kind of collar. Albus used to have one of the prong collars, because it was the only thing that gave me full control over him AND allowed for an even correction. He's always been stronger than me and we were really concerned about his safety and my rotator cuff... I used to get VERY defensive about it to the people who felt like they knew better than me and my trainer. I can't imagine what it's like to be the mom of a human child if so many people feel like they can comment on what's up with my pup.

We had worked with the trainer and had developed a plan to move from that back to the harness, and that's what we're slowly transitioning to now! Albus has finally learned not to drag me and will almost stay within the leash's length of me. We've literally been working on this for almost his entire life. We use the Pet-Safe Easy Walk harness which works great. It's a little too big on him, but the smaller size was too small. I know he's almost three, but I figure he'll probably grow into it. 

Since the last Albus post, we have taught him to bark when you say "Albus, say GO DAWGS!" which is my favorite trick and I show EVERYONE we meet that trick. He also has a doggy fitbit. I'm serious. We switched to Banfield for vet services and they're doing some kind of case study with the people at Whistle Labs -- they gave it to us for free as long as we keep up with our annual appointments and Albus wears it on his collar every day. It's actually a really cool little tracker, I can tell that making sure he hits his "activity" goal makes him better behaved. This isn't even a sales pitch and that link to Whistle is just a link to their website, it's just a cool thing that we have to play with now. I don't know if I would have ever bough my dog a fitness tracker, but now I'm glad I have one. haha

So, if you're not following along, you can follow Albus on his very own instagram account (still waiting for the day he starts getting free food and bandannas...) He's a very social little guy who thinks he's the bouncer for any place we go. "You must pet the pup before entering this place" We will be going on so many more adventures this summer, so stay tuned! Do you have any funny puppy stories? Please tell me all of your funny puppy stories (heavy on the destructive or not letting you sleep through the night phases because I have puppy fever right now.)

What I Read in February

Check it out. I'm two-for-two on monthly book recaps! February was a shorter month with warmer weather, but that didn't stop me from being a little bookworm.

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FIRST UP! I absolutely finished China Rich Girlfriend at the beginning of the month. It was told a little differently than Crazy Rich Asians, but I loved it too. It was just as good as the first book, which I had expected but you never know with sequels. It brings in new characters and new adventures and drama. I highly recommend this series if you're late to the bandwagon like I was. 

That brings me to book number two for February: Rich People Problems -- this one took me a little longer to get into, but again I was all in. I felt defensive of Nick when Eddie was creating drama, and genuinely invested in the outcome of the story. Halfway through this, I would have told you it was my least favorite of the three, but there were so many twists and turns I didn't see coming, that when I got to the last third of the book, I literally couldn't put it down. One of those "staying up way past my bedtime to finish" reads. Again, I highly recommend this series.

I vastly over estimated how many books I would finish this month, I knew last month was setting me up for disappointment. Right now I'm working on Katherine because I got it for $1.99 thanks to my daily Kindle deal e-mails. I also snagged Murder on the Orient Express and What the Wind Knows. Hopefully I'll be able to get to more of those in March. I didn't realize what I was getting into with Katherine, I don't think, because the little status bar at the bottom of my Kindle will tell me that I have 9 hours remaining in the chapter and that is a whole lot.

What have you guys been reading? Anything I need to add to my list?

A Journey Out Of Debt

I'm sure you've read one of the articles about us millennials not being able to buy houses because of avocado toast or bottomless mimosas or whatever it is we're prioritizing over a money pit. I own a house, I can call it a money pit from experience. I don't fall into the avocado toast group because I do own a house, but I honestly only own one because it was so much cheaper than the rent I was paying. I do, however, fall into the millennial trope about credit card and student loan debt. I'm working on hashing out a five year plan, and paying off credit cards is Big Goal number 1.
this picture has nothing to do with debt, these are just some pretty flowers in my front yard that got no love on the gram
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I have been reading all of the money blogs and books and think pieces I can find. I once bought the Dave Ramsey money book, but it's almost like it's a solution for people who are just starting out in the whole doing anything with money business. Cash only isn't a good option for me because I feel the opposite way most people feel about cash. If I have to swipe my card, I'm thinking about what I'm spending, but if I just have cash in my purse? It's free money! It's weird. I think part of it is *knowing* the interest rate on those credit cards.

I'm not as worried about paying my student loans, house, or car off super early, because I have incredible interest rates on them. They're all simple interest under 5%. My main focus is the mountain of debt with the 25% compound interest. My current plans to tackle this particular goal are: obviously any money I can make from this blog, I'm studying to get my real estate license, and I recently applied for a bunch of a consolidation loan options, and finally found one I qualified for. That literally saved me $3,000 in interest, right off the bat and gives me an end date that I can literally mark on my calendar.

I also use a few cashback apps, Ebates, Honey, Dosh, and Ibotta. I absolutely recommend them all. I mean companies are going to track your spending habits no matter what you do, so you might as well get your cut of it. If you have any other suggestions, that I might not know about, pleeeeease hook yo' girl up. Obviously send me the link that gets you a bonus too. I always want whatever referral code helps us both out.

Now, I do want to get a little defensive here. In September of last year, the Wednesday before the Taylor Swift concert, to be exact, I was laid off from my job. Prior to that, I was essentially working two full time jobs, not using any credit cards, and paying them down. I had them so under control, I was super proud of myself. After I was laid off from my higher paying job, I started working full-full time for my dad's company again. It was a huge pay cut, almost $20,000 a year. There's room to grow and all of that stuff, but that was a huge shift, and some things had to be put on credit cards.

Anyways. I got my budget in order and have mostly everything under control now. It's just time to see if I can make some extra money on the side and eventually find out what it's like to be relatively debt free. I figured y'all might like to come along on this adventure with me. It won't be like the posts where it's all "See How We Saved $50,000 In One Year!" and then you find out that they make six digit incomes and have no outstanding debt whatsoever. It's going to be SUPER fun, right? Do you have any suggestions? Any hacks I might not know about yet?

The Never Ending Mattress Adventure: Part 2

Hey guys. Guess what. We have some updates. First, the drain for the washing machine was just clogged, so we got that fixed without having to pull up all the pipes in the house. Second, the dishwasher is kaput, we tried all of the "youtube fixes your contractor doesn't want you to see" things. Those didn't work, it's d-e-a-d. If one more person suggests hand washing my dishes I will throat punch them. 

NOW. I've been tweeting about this whole "is the bed frame ever going to be delivered?" adventure. I have been purposely not tagging Mattress Firm, because it's just a whole combination of situations and not necessarily their fault. Now, after they sent me an automated e-mail asking for my review of a product that hadn't been delivered yet, they discovered my tweet thread. They asked me to DM them with the drama, so I did. After explaining how we ordered this frame LAST MONDAY and how the mattress is just in the box in the damn living room because we're not trying to put our brand new mattress on the floor, the customer service rep asks me why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? I almost dropped my phone. 

Why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? I try so hard not to be rude with customer service people. I was one for years. Sometimes you just can't help. Sometimes, after you've done everything you can, you still don't have a good answer. Why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? BECAUSE I PAID FOR A BED FRAME. Because I'm not in college? Because I'm an adult? Because we have white sheets and a black dog? Because it's none of your damn business? I calmly responded "not to be rude, but because we paid for the bed frame." and four other reasons. 

I don't know what I was expecting from this customer service team, but that definitely was not it. Maybe a "we're sorry, have a new pillow!" or something. This is 100% going to feed into my review about the product. Even if I love the mattress and the bed frame, I'm not giving it all the stars because this has been the most ridiculous experience. The next day, the day the bed frame was actually on the truck for delivery, the customer service manager contacted me and read me the FedEx tracking. By this point I wasn't expecting anything from them, yes I am aware what the tracking says, I do know how to use FedEx.

SO when I got home from work last night, the bed frame was THERE! I mean, it was getting soaked in the rain, but you win some you lose some. I immediately moved all of the furniture in the master bedroom, poured myself a very large glass of wine, and got to work. I had the entire bed put together, set up, and MADE in under an hour. I have never been more excited to make a bed in my entire life. It fluffed right up and we slept on it last night. It was amazing. The best night's sleep I've gotten in a while. Was it worth this whole nightmare process? We'll see at the end of the 120 day money back period. Our last bed was so bad that literally anything felt more comfortable than what we had.

So far, what I've learned from this experience, is buy the bed frame when you buy the mattress and don't buy anything that ships GROUND from California. So ends the mattress adventure I never want to go on again. Have you had any furniture buying adventures? Tell me allll of your stories!

The Never Ending Mattress Adventure

So, let me just preface this by saying I love my house.  It's adorable, it's super close to all of the things I want to be close to, I can walk to the Marietta Square. It's a great little house. Now, let me tell you about the never ending nightmare that has been getting a new bed for the master bedroom. 

Our cool, handmade, reclaimed wood bed.  
So, I originally had this cool bed with storage made out of recycled pallets. SUPER cool bed. It was a queen size though, and now that there are two of us, queen size isn't quite big enough. I'd also had the mattress forever and had bought it off of a friend. It was the firmest mattress I've ever slept on. We literally had an egg crate AND a down mattress topper and it still felt like sleeping on the ground. So we started researching new, king size, mattress options back in OCTOBER. 

Now, I'm a planner. If I'm making a big purchase, I like to know all of the information. Considering most of the king size beds started out OVER $1,000, I wanted to make sure we got a good deal but not something that would feel cheap. I also wanted one of those "sleep on this for 120 nights to make sure you love it!" guarantees. I read months worth of amazon reviews, hoping I could snag one of the less expensive "beds in a box" they have on there. At the time of my research, there were tons of reviews citing mold and hard to get in touch with customer service options. Then I priced out all the different "bed in a box" options. I was still wary, because I wanted to see one in person and lay on it before I shelled out a grand. 

Then we discovered that Mattress Firm carried one of the beds in a box, that we could lay on one there before ordering it AND got the 120 day guarantee AND they were running a sale where you got the king for the price of a queen. That made the nicer tier king size mattress well within our budget woohoo! We didn't spring for a box springs, because I had seen frames on the internet for less than $100, and thought maybe we could snag one of those instead. This was a mistake.

I went back to the millions of reviews on Amazon for one of the bed frames (by the way, that was a wild ride. I didn't expect to learn so much about the sex lives of strangers in product reviews, but I guess that is something you need to take into account when buying a bed frame. I learned that there are lots of different options when it comes to handcuffs and keeping metal frames from squeaking. It was just a ton of information.) I started to doubt my decision to not just buy a box spring, because the slats were supposed to be 3" or less apart for a memory foam mattress. (After worrying about all of this, I noticed that the slats on traditional box springs are not that close together either, so that's cool.) 

I ended up going back to Mattress Firm, but via the website, and ordering a frame they had as the one that should go with the mattress we bought. It was great, I had a coupon from Honey and saved 30%. The shipping was even free! That began a whole new adventure that I've been live tweeting since it started. Yes, since it started, because it still hasn't been delivered. It's allegedly on the FedEx truck for delivery today, but I'll believe that when I see it. I ordered it a week ago. I also ordered a new duvet cover from Target three days later, it shipped ground as well, but with UPS, and it was there the very next day. 

So. We've got the duvet, sheets, and mattress. We're just waiting on the bed frame. I went ahead and listed the old bed on Facebook, and we sold it relatively painlessly. Some of the people I dealt with were quite a nightmare, but the kid who ended up buying it got it for a song and hauled it off on Saturday. So we're currently sleeping in the guest bedroom, on a full size bed, because that's what fits on the cool antique bed frame I have in there. Sorry, all of my guests, I didn't realize how small that was for two people.

Yesterday, I decided it was as good a time as any to wash all of the new linens. While I was washing the new duvet and in the middle of some serious spring cleaning, I heard an awful lot of sloshing. I looked behind the washing machine to see that GALLONS of water are just overflowing from the drain pipe. (You can watch a video on my insta home highlights) Just a gigantic mess. I turned the washing machine off, (actually,  I only paused it, when I walked away it decided to start running again) and honestly had to stop everything I was doing. The duvet is still in the washing machine, the machine is about 2/3 full of water. It's great. 

This has gone on for quite some time, so I think I'll stop here. We're currently finding out what the problem is with the washing machine (oh and the dishwasher went out yesterday too. cool cool cool cool) and waiting to see if the bedframe is actually delivered. So I hope y'all stay tuned for part 2 of this adventure with us. Home Depot/Lowe's, if you're reading, I'd love to do some sponsored posts about your products..  Do you have any homeowner nightmares?

Friday Coffee Date

HAPPY FRIDAY! I haven't really talked about why I stopped blogging, but part of it was that I had some posts that did REALLY well, so I was worried that if it wasn't the next thing that it wasn't worth hitting publish on. I literally started struggling with that again the second I published about what I read in February. So to help with my self created writer's block, I'm doing a coffee date post!

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If we were having coffee..

I would be a little whine-y about the fact that almost all of the purple has washed out of my hair, I feel like the color washes out so fast. Why can't it stay purple longer? Has anyone tried any of those do it at home shampoos that make your hair fun colors? Tell me about it pretty please!

I would tell you ALL ABOUT the whole "new bed" debacle, from the crazy reviews on Amazon to the mattress in a box currently just hanging out in the living room (because it would be too easy for them both to arrive together.) Somehow, every aspect of our new bed arrives on different days. 

I would get entirely too excited over this fabric de-fuzzer that Chelsea wrote about the other day and how I have been defuzzing all of my Old Navy clothes to last so much longer. Also, I'd ask you if that makes me more of a grown up, since I'm excited about removing the fuzz from all of my cardigans. Just go ahead and check me into the retirement home.

I would ask if you've read anything great recently, I'm just about done with Rich People Problems and in the market for a new read. I did snag Katherine for Kindle when it came through on the "Kindle Daily Deals" email for $2.99 (ps, if you don't already subscribe to that one, I would definitely recommend it. It's not always stuff I want, but I've snagged a few of my "TBR" list off there for under $5 and that's always a win)

I would ask you for some Instagram inspiration. I haven't felt like I've done anything insta worthy since my birthday party. How do you keep your feed going? Do you have a folder of posts "to be grammed" when you don't have anything cool for that day? Have you bought in to any light room presets you swear are worth the money?  tell me more, tell me more, tell me more

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 

What I Read In January

For about a minute, I thought I might be able to read 52 books in 2019, since I managed to average one a week in January. Then I realized that January was frigid, the sun was setting at 5 pm, and I was essentially hibernating. So, for now, I'm sticking with my original Goodreads goal of 30 books this year. Also, I have the Kindle Unlimited subscription which tends to influence my book choices a lot lately.

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Highland Queen: Okay. This was the 4th book in a series (The Celtic Blood Series) and holy cow did I devour those four books. I actually had to wait for this one to be published. The first book was recommended to me in Kindle Unlimited and I literally read the first three in maybe a week and a half. It's a different side of the story of Lady Macbeth. The first book gets off to a slow start, but once you really get into it, you won't be able to put it down. It's a lot of highland magic and I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who's a fan of Outlander or historical fiction in general. 

The Unbroken Line of the Moon: This one was again recommended to me by my reading history with Kindle Unlimited (legit after I finished Highland Queen it was the first suggestion.) This one was a little bit hard to keep up with, there are several "main" characters and the narration changes to that person's point of view. I only finished this one because I kept reading expecting something to happen, and the book ended. That's what happened. This one might have been a little harder for me to follow because I was less familiar with Nordic mythology than I am with Celtic, or the whole multiple narrators thing. I wouldn't tell you not to read it, but I also wouldn't tell you oh my god you have to read this one.

Crazy Rich Asians: I flew through this one. I borrowed the entire series from one of my girlfriends in physical book form. I've been reading so many Kindle books that it was a bit of an adjustment for about five minutes. This story was great, following the main character and her boyfriend through all kinds of family drama, with an unexpected twist at the end. I cannot recommend this one enough. I didn't jump on the bandwagon with everyone else, and honestly I wish I had. I loved that the characters use their native languages for certain things and that there are footnotes explaining what they mean - I learned a lot of stuff from a fun, quick read. I'm trying to wait for the movie to come on one of my streaming apps, but might bite the bullet and rent it. I definitely recommend picking this one up (if, like me, you are waaaay behind on the bandwagon

I mad it about halfway through China Rich Girlfriend before January ended too, but that will just have to be in the February books I read post. *Spoiler alert: I'll be reading Rich People Problems after that...* What did you read in January? Do you have something I should add to by "to be read" list (that somehow only seems to grow.)

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

That's a super very terribly dumb title, but I feel like I have to use it. I started to write this post on Tuesday, my actual 30th birthday, but like everything else that day, it didn't go my way. That sounds like a terribly bratty thing to say, I enjoyed the day very much (until a late night emotional breakdown, but I've been assured that everyone goes through that.) I became very overwhelmed at the prospect of turning 30. I really don't remember feeling this way about any other birthday, I couldn't tell you why 30 feels so daunting. 

So a little more than a year-long, unintentional hiatus, I've decided to come back to blogging. I've been constantly encouraged to come back by Elle, and more recently inspired by Becca. I don't imagine this will be a space for a ton of sponsored content, but I'm hoping for it to be a creative outlet. If said creative outlet can drive some extra income, who among us doesn't need help in that department? I'm excited to get back into what I used to love about blogging, before it became all tailored instagram posts and selling lightroom presets.

I've been reading a ton lately, I'm assuming it's a reaction to the cold temperatures and my natural instinct to hibernate. I'm working on a Goodreads goal of 30 books this year, which may be a bit low considering I've already finished four here in January. I am always looking for book recommendations and I'll be talking about the books I've read from time to time (read: I haven't decided if I want to commit myself to an editorial calendar or just go with the flow, so to speak).

I've also been in a bit of a musical rut lately, does anyone have any good Spotify playlists to share? I just keep listening to the same 30 or so songs, which combined with a 30 minute commute each way has gotten quite stale.

So, in summary, I'm back, I'm having the stereotypical "30" anxiety issues, and I need all of your book and music suggestions!