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Home > Archive: October, 2015

Archive for October, 2015

Quick Update

October 30th, 2015 at 05:14 am

I did no spending yesterday, so not much has changed. Upon reviewing my budget, though, I realized I put in the full amount for business expenses. Most of that is paid out of an account not linked to my Mint - so I need to readjust there (eventually I'll have a mint account specifically for my business, or just use my Quickbooks effectively).

Yesterday made this delicious recipe in the crockpot, found on Pinterest. I highly recommend:


I didn't have any sesame seeds, but I did sub half of the vegetable oil with sesame oil, so you got some of that nice flavor. All in all, fantastic meal. And inexpensive, too.

Tonight is either perogies (the extras I froze after making them last week) or a frozen pizza. Forgot to thaw the ham, so that will likely be saved for next week.

No plans for tonight, but likely will be out or at someone's house hanging with friends. Tomorrow I've got two shoots, and one possibly on Sunday. Also two halloween parties tomorrow night. So it'll be a busy weekend!

Hope you all enjoy!

Thursday Already??

October 29th, 2015 at 07:37 am

This week has been flying. Had BNI this morning - and one of the members had a referral for me. So hopefully that works out! It's been a really great experience so far, and I'm happy I was able to gain something from being a member. Looking forward to seeing how it works out for me in Nashville.

Wrote the check to DH yesterday, so last year's tax debt is taken care of. Woo!! Now i just have to start saving a whole lot. I'm going to transfer $400 to my savings account today to get that process started.

I did a little thinking yesterday about my priorities. I really need to get on top of my businesses finances so I have a good estimate of what I'm going to owe come April. I have my account linked to my Quickbooks, so most of my expenses are getting accounted for automatically - but I'll be taking a few days in my down months to really hammer it out and make sure everything looks good.


I'll be readjusting my goals and budget here in the next couple of days so that I'm fresh to start in November. Stay tuned!


This is also day 4 of my new morning routine - which includes a 15+ min workout session. I've decided that on top of limiting my clothing/home purchases, I'm going to make working out for 7 days a stipulation. When I mentioned this to DH, he said, "I don't think that's a good idea." haha. I explained that my working out for a week doesn't mean I get to make EXTRA purchases, it just means I'm allowed to make the purchases I was already going to make - still within my budget and purposefully planned. I figure that gives me a week to carefully consider that purchase (no impulse buying) and simultaneously encourages me to work out. haha.

Honestly, having to bribe myself to workout for 15 minutes at a time is a bit sad to begin with, but I'll take whatever measures I can to put it into practice at this point.

Last night we did go out to dinner before a comedy show (and after all of that talk of doing well...). DH paid. I was thankful to have a night off. We need to include more meals that he can cook as well. I don't want to get completely burnt out.

Tonight is honey sesame chicken in the crock pot. Pinterest recipe that I'm excited to try out.

Hope you all have a fantastic day!!

A Funny Resolution to my Bank Issues

October 28th, 2015 at 05:09 am

So as I mentioned yesterday, my debit card wasn't working at Aldi - then yesterday I noticed a couple of transactions that were not ones that I made. After scrutinizing a bit further, I took a look at my card. Lo and behold, my sister-in-law and I had accidentally switched cards when we went to dinner on Sunday. So I was not victim of identity theft after all! She came over yesterday to switch back and have some lunch. All in all, a great resolution.


This morning I took a look at my budget (as I'm trying to get into the habit of doing ever morning) on mint. DH caught a glimpse and asked what my Mint page was - I explained to him and told him where I was going over budget. Taking a look at my restaurant budget, I've spent $146 and I budgeted $100. When we took a look at it together, I realized I had only gone out to dinner or lunch 3 times this month! The rest were stops to get coffee or pick up breakfast from Dunkin. While that all adds up, I'm super proud of myself for our very few trips out for dinner. All that cooking has paid off! My grocery budget is also about $30 over, but I only budgeted $200. Lastly, I'm over on my shopping budget. Allowed myself $150 and have spent $288 - so almost double. This is both my clothes/homegoods/entertainment as well as misc budget. Pretty much anything that doesn't fall in my normal expenses gets dumped here. Honestly, I think I need to give myself a bit more wiggle room on that one. But not by much. haha. I did buy 2 sweaters, a coat, 2 kindle books, and home stuff at IKEA and Big Lots (most of the IKEA purchase came out of joint money, though). My Hulu subscription is also included in this. All things considered, at least I scored some amazing deals. That being said, I need to be on a spending diet and don't want to rationalize purchases.


My Huntington transfer hit my account today, so I'll be transferring that now to DH's account and my tax debt from last year is over and done with. Woo! Took me far longer than I wanted it to, but with the wedding things got tight there for a bit. Now I need to really start saving for this year's taxes. I'm supposed to finish a job that will pay $6k, and my thought is that most or all of that will go toward my taxes. But in case (for whatever reason) that falls through, I'm going to start saving regardless. Then once I have things under control, I'm going to start setting aside 40% of every payment I receive. Like I should have been doing all along :/


That's it for today! Hope you all have a good one!

New Coat + Bank Trouble

October 27th, 2015 at 05:50 am

Yesterday ended up being a very productive day! Started off with a new morning routine - including 30 minutes on my elliptical-thingy (it's just got the pedals, and is really small).

I ran some errands - had to ship off that lens to the manufacturer. It's under warranty, but I had to pay for the shipping. I put insurance on it, and it ended up being about $20 all together. Better that than anything happening to it. The thing cost me $1,200 and is a work essential item.

Deposited a check in my business account, which was available this morning - I paid myself the $1,600 and will be transferring that to DH as soon as it hits, which will clear my tax debt to him from last year. Phew! Now it's time to start saving for this year :/

On the way home I went to Aldi to pick up some last minute odds and ends for dinner. For whatever reason, my debit card wasn't working - it said invalid PIN, but it's been the same for years and years. After jumping on my account this morning, I see two charges that I'm fairly certain I didn't make so... looks like I'll be calling the bank. Not sure why someone committing fraud would use my info to get $4.99 worth of Arby's, but there it is. Considering DH and I are swearing off fast food for a year I can with great displeasure say it wasn't me. haha.

So it looks like I'll have a quick call with the bank. Again. This has happened more times than I would like. They keep telling me not to use my debit card to make online purchases, but that always seems to be the best course of action for me. I really just need to tackle my CC debt so I'm not near my max and can just pay it off every month. Sigh. We'll get there!


Oh - the new coat! I almost forgot to mention it (despite it being in the title). I had my eye on one for about $295, but then rethought that plan and looked at a few online consignment shops. I found a handful that I liked, and have been continuing - well, one of them was marked down to $45 and I jumped on it. It's a brand new black pea coat from Zara. Considering I've been rocking my navy blue one from Target, I think it'll do. Navy just doesn't really match most of my wardrobe. But I think this one will!

At any rate, I hope you all enjoy your Tuesday!!

Surprise Loan Payments

October 26th, 2015 at 05:36 am

Okay, maybe it doesn't come as a *total* surprise, but some of my military student loan payments went through this month and I didn't realize it until today. About $1,500 worth - so we're getting there! I'm not entirely sure how it works in terms of payment dispersement, as the payments have only started rolling in last year and it's been a nightmare of a process. But I'll take what I can get at this point.


The weekend went well - one of my shoots was cancelled due to rain, but the other two went fantastically. Yesterday it was just GORGEOUS and I was taking family photos for a friend. I don't usually do free shoots, but she was my wedding photographer and did our engagement photos for free, so it was more of a trade Smile We both own our own businesses, so she's like my unofficial coworker. We get together and edit photos, vent about our work, and any time we're stuck on something we have the other to reach out to. It's a really great business relationship - and it's blossomed into a very close friendship as well. Asking her to shoot my wedding was a no-brainer.


This week will be far less overwhelming than last - as I cancelled my Nashville trip. So I had nothing booked during the week. Woo! I'm hoping, however, to use all of that uninterrupted time to really get caught up.

Today, however, I have some errands to run. One of my lenses is having trouble catching focus and I'll be sending it to be looked at and adjusted. Thankfully it's under warranty, so I'll just have to pay for shipping.

Tonight we're having friends over for dinner. I have to grab 2 things at the store, but then I wont be setting foot in the grocery store again until November. We're quite a bit over budget. I think I need to adjust my budget for next month, though. I have lofty goals, but I think I may have been a *bit* unrealistic this time around Smile

At any rate, hope you all have a lovely week!!!

Busy Week! And an IKEA trip.

October 23rd, 2015 at 07:19 am

Well, the week is almost over, but I still have 3 more shoots. ha! So not quite over for me... the week has been going fairly well. Traveled to Pittsburgh for a shoot that went really well, covered an event last night, and today I'm catching up on grocery shopping and a bit of cleaning as well as my editing.

Hit IKEA when I was in Pitts - it was nice to be able to make that trip a business expense. I probably would have made a trip out there at some point soon regardless. We needed a duvet badly now that it's getting cold, and I couldn't find them as cheaply anywhere else. So to the magical wonderland we went!

I brought along $200 cash from our wedding gift stash to spend there. Anything over that amount would come out of my personal account, but I was more or less setting that as my budget. I went $9 over. Not too shabby. Things I purchased:

- Duvet
- Duvet cover
- Extra blanket
- 2 throw pillows
- 2 throw pillow covers
- 2 matching lamps
- 2 "bowl plates"
- Paper towel holder
- Random brush for shower
- Pack of 2 power strips

The main objective was the bedding, and the difference is startling in our bedroom. We actually look like we have a grown-up bed now. haha. Also, the lighting for the bedroom was a HUGE improvement. We were working with 2 dorm-style work lamps that were probably $5 each, and didn't match. I love the new lamps - classy, and only $20 each.

Now I just need to clean our night stands... and eventually replace them so they match. But that can wait for sure. I really want to start making our home feel a bit more polished, but DH is getting sticker shock. We've lived in an apartment with a mixing of old furniture from his parent's house and stuff I've bought. As I was perusing on Overstock the other day he looked at a side table I was looking at and didn't understand why it was so expensive. I don't think he understands at all how much furniture really costs. Outside of our bed and cheap couch, he hasn't really made any furniture purchases. So I figure slow and steady is the way to go. haha. I also don't want to break the bank with wants that outweigh needs, either. So it'll be a very slow process indeed. Or at least about making purchases that have a high-impact for less.

At any rate, time for me to get back to work! Hope you are all having a great Friday!

Long Weekend

October 19th, 2015 at 08:30 am

It really was - DH and I "took off" Friday to attend his cousin's wedding. I put that in quotes because I actually had a shoot that morning about an hour away. It went well, just lead to a lot of running around that morning. I had been so busy with stuff that I forgot to try on the dress I planned on wearing that day. It looked frumpy and I had no shoes to match (I bought this dress a while back for $15, intending to get some strappy heels). Long story short, I took a trip to Target to look for a cheap solution to my shoe problem. I found nothing, and instead walked out with a new dress - thankfully on sale for only $20. Fits me fantastically, which is a slight miracle. I'll get a lot of use out of it, so I'm pretty pumped.

The wedding was a blast. Danced until the wee hours of the night. But then I had to wake up at 7am to get ready and drive back an hour and a half to shoot a client's wedding. Thankfully it was a shorter day. Only worked 5 hours, then went home and slept for about 14 hours. Not an exaggeration at all. I woke up just long enough to eat a couple pieces of the frozen pizza DH made, then fell back asleep. I felt pretty rough.

Yesterday I still felt pretty sore and tired, despite all of the sleep. Ended up hitting Big Lots with a friend and spent $50 - on a cast iron skillet, a new drying pad for our dishes (I probably could have gotten much more use out of the one we have. I'm kicking myself now), a few odds and ends, and then 2 king-sized extra firm pillows. We got a king-sized bed over a year ago, and I've been talking about getting the right sized pillows ever since. Our standard sized ones look pretty silly in the extra long cases, and most of our pillows are old and flat or super cushy. My neck and back has been killing me for the last few weeks, so I decided it was time. They were only $12 each, and after just one night they were worth every penny.

That being said, my "shopping" budget for the month is over by quite a bit. After all of the traveling and stopping at Starbucks, my restaurant budget is to the max now. So I need to really focus on cooking at home the rest of the month.


Today I'm hitting hte editing hard - and marking a few more tasks off the list. I've had some new inquiries in the last week, and booked a new client! Always a good sign Smile Actually, this week is going to be incredibly packed - I have 5 different shoots, and a whole lot of editing to get done. I'm also leaving for Nashville next week, and don't quite feel ready.

I'm not sure if maybe I should cancel my trip and wait until December to make the trek down there. I want to start making connections, but if I'm not prepared, I'm not sure it's worth it for me to spend the money and the time. My resources might be better used elsewhere this month.

So that's my update! I hope you all have a lovely day!!


October 15th, 2015 at 07:13 am

Should be a no-spend day today (woo!). Checked the budget and so far still in the green, but my restaurant allotment is maxed out, and my shopping budget is close to as well. So something to keep an eye on moving forward.


Right now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've got several weddings to edit, and there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day for everything I need to accomplish to make my business work and still enjoy my personal life. I'm sure some of that could be remedied by better time management - it's not all a "woe is me" situation, but nonetheless it's frustrating and exhausting.

This morning I had my BNI meeting - the next week will consist of zero one-on-one meetings. I've had my fill for a couple of weeks, and I have other things to focus on. But I did get 2 inquiries yesterday, one from another BNI chapter. So I guess that means all of that networking was somewhat worth it.

The rest of the day will be a (hopefully) very high-volume editing day. I need to get focused and push out at least a good 1,000 photos. Ideally, I would come closer to 1,500. So at least I have a goal. Though I will be taking a break this evening to make dinner. I'm really wanting to make these perogies, and my potatoes will go bad if I don't use them in the next few days. Tomorrow DH and I will be at a wedding, and Saturday I'll be photographing a wedding, so I'll likely not be up for cooking anything intricate.

I may also have a shoot tomorrow morning. We'll see how the weather holds out. All in all, a very busy week. Next week I have 3 - possibly 4 shoots. The week following that I'll be in Nashville doing all of my networking. And I still need to get the materials together for that. Also, we're supposed to leave for our honeymoon in one month exactly, and we haven't booked it. ha.

Can you tell I'm a last-minute kind of person? That honeymoon is going to be so nice. I just have a lot of work to do in the mean time.

So with that being said, it's back to work.

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Grocery Shopping

October 14th, 2015 at 12:56 pm

This morning I had a meeting with a fellow BNI member, which went really well. Hopefully all of these 1-on-1's will encourage some referrals! Had a coffee and a bagel for breakfast there. Prior to that, DH and I actually woke up early to work out. It was quite rough. But I'm happy we did it nonetheless.

Wednesdays are generally my grocery shopping days. A good friend of mine has them off, so we go together. Today we decided to check out the new Whole Foods that opened up nearby. It was nice to look, but I ended up buying nothing there and instead finished up the week's grocery shopping all at Aldi. Naturally.

I spent a grand total of $22.89. We had a lot of food left over from last week, given that we did a restaurant meal last night and ate a lot of leftovers last week. I also found these frozen lasagne rolls at Aldi last week that were really delicious - and came with 2 packs, so we can make them again this week. I picked up this butternut squash pasta sauce today, so it'll mix things up a bit.

I also took stock of our freezer, and we have a bunch of pork still left from the portion of the pig from my mom. So we'll be attempting to use some of that up.

So on this week's menu:

- Homemade Perogies with Herb Butter
- Ham with Butternut Squash Risotto
- Italian Sausages with Mac + Cheese
- Split Pea Soup
- Lasagne Rolls in Butternut Squash Sauce
- Pork Fried Rice
- Emergency Pizza

That's enough meals for 2 weeks, really. Which is good - because my grocery budget is down to $20 for the rest of the month. I'll have to be picky. And creative. Tonight we'll be having dinner with friends, and wont even have to cook! So that will definitely help Smile


In other news, I've found some winter coats that look like great contenders - on these online consignment shops that I really love. And all of the coats I've been looking at have been under $100, which is obviously fantastic compared to the $300 one I really wanted. I've only got about $50 left in my shopping budget, but I might try to sell a few things to fund the remainder of the cost. The one I'm thinking about is $78. So we shall see. I could stand to thin my closet out a bit anyway.

At any rate, I hope you all have a wonderful day and are meeting your goals!

Nice Weekend

October 13th, 2015 at 04:58 am

Yesterday DH had off of work for Columbus Day - so I spent some time finishing up the wedding I've been editing, but we also had a bit of fun. We went for an 8 mile hike that just about kicked my butt. I haven't been working out for months, and it was clear that I'm very much out of shape. But it was a really nice day, and we really enjoyed ourselves. We're going to try and make hiking more of a habit.

After our hike we swung by the grocery store to grab some lunch and pick up pumpkins. We didn't end up carving them last night, though. Partly because I had to finish up those photos, and partly because I was so pooped from the hike that I ended up falling asleep during our online class. So carving them after wasn't going to work. So at some point this week, we're going to do that Smile

This week is going to be incredibly busy. I have another wedding due on Saturday - but I'll be taking Friday off for DH's cousin's wedding, and then Saturday I'll be shooting another wedding. So I really have the next three days to get it all edited. Not impossible, but that probably means late nights until then.

Thankfully, after I finish this one I don't have another hard deadline until November.


Spending over the weekend was more or less on meals - we did get breakfast Saturday, brunch Sunday, and then lunch yesterday. We could have definitely stuck to meals at home. We'll have to work on that going forward. At least limit ourselves to 1-2 restaurant meals every week.

At any rate, I better get to all of that work I mentioned!! Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

Sunday Update

October 11th, 2015 at 10:42 am

So last night I ended up going over to our friend's house with DH for poker night. He gave me a quick crash course on how to play before we left, and it ended up being a good time. Given that it was my first time, I didn't do terribly well - but it was only a $10 buy-in and I enjoyed it. He didn't end up winning either, but hey. Entertainment for $10/person isn't so bad. And he fronted the money.

We haven't mixed our finances yet, so we're still in the mindset that it's "his" and "my" money. I know that will change as soon as we get things going. Still waiting for our marriage license to come back from the probate court so I can embark on the exciting adventure of changing my name, replacing IDs, and then opening a joint account together. I think we may be meeting with a financial adviser. We have one in my BNI group, and it seems like a good way to kick off on the right foot. But it'll be an interesting transition. DH makes a LOT more money than I do, and I often worry about feeling like I'm not pulling my weight. Or it coming off that way. Now that we're married, the "team" mentality hasn't quite sunk in. Though I'm sure that's something that comes with time.


Today DH went off with friends to watch football. I stayed behind to edit photos. This week is going to be busy busy busy, as I've got a couple of deadlines to meet and two days I'm taking off work during the week.

I was going to cook dinner tonight, but we have so much leftover from yesterday's dinner that I think we'll just do that, and I'll cook tomorrow when I'm not attempting to edit a few thousand photos.

I also want to celebrate some tiny victories. Friends asked me to go to the mall a few times this week and I declined. I've also done a lot of online consignment shopping, and have yet to make a purchase. Just looking for a new winter coat. I've had my eye on one for over a year now, but it's about $300. I know I can score a better deal, but I still want to invest in something that I love and will last.

Thankfully, we have a bit of time before it becomes urgent. So we'll see. My coat from last year is still functional and we'll be living in a warmer climate next year. So maybe I'll go with something cute and much cheaper and hold off on the big coat investment until we move back. At any rate, I'm rambling now.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!!

Yay! Weekend!

October 10th, 2015 at 09:29 am

So this is the first Saturday in a really long time that I haven't had anything planned - work related or otherwise. It feels good. I've got some editing to do, but the fact that I don't *have* to put on real clothes or makeup if I don't want to is a real comfort for me. One I've missed.

DH is planning to pay poker tonight with friends and watch the big US vs. Mexico cup game, so I'm not sure what my plans are. On one hand, I don't really know how to play poker. On the other, I could learn and possibly win some cash (and hang out with friends). But I don't know. I kind of like the idea of just hanging out at home as well. I've got plenty to do. And a whole slew of Netflix movies I could watch...

I also have a ton of work I need to get done this weekend, so it may make more sense to do that today so tomorrow and Monday will be open for relaxation.


In other news, we looked at some options for my health insurance - now that we're married, I can get on DH's work plan. But it's a bit absurd how much it would jump! As of right now, he only pays about $38 per pay period for his medical. It jumps to about $130 when he adds me on. I'm used to paying around $50 for Tricare so... I'm wondering if I should at least get a couple of other quotes. For a healthy 29 year old with no known medical issues, who knows. I don't have much experience with all of this. But in all honesty, I'm just excited to have insurance again.

There's a member of my BNI group that is an independent contractor and deals in health insurance, so I might have him put together a quote, so at least I have some basis of comparison.

Anyhoo. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!


October 9th, 2015 at 10:34 am

I can't believe the week is almost over! Time is certainly flying right now. Today I substituted at another BNI meeting - the group was pretty good, and there was an interior designer that seemed interested in doing some photos in the spring. So it was certainly a trip worth making (even if I had to drive 45 min away to get there at 7:30am). After that meeting, I headed to a local coffee shop to do a one-on-one meeting with one of the members of my BNI group. Spent about $10 on coffee and breakfast, but at least they can be written off.

Also grabbed gas this morning, and spent $12 on a kindle book last night. I would have gotten it from the library - but it's brand new, and it's Mindy Kaling's new book. I will reread it religiously because I practically worship her.

So I'm still under budget as of today. Things are going well.

Tonight we're going to a comedy thing at the Hofbrau House around here. Friends won free tickets, so we'll be getting in for free. I haven't talked to DH about dinner, so we might end up eating there. Or just having a couple of drinks and eating at home. We'll see.

The rest of the weekend should be a good time, and relatively cheap. We're planning to carve pumpkins, go on a hike, and hang out with friends. I think one of the days we might hit brunch at a restaurant near our house. Sunday night I'm making my perogies and having friends over for dinner. Should be a good time.

I also need to get some work done tomorrow, so I think I'm going to wake up and get an early start.

Now, back to work! TGIF!!


October 8th, 2015 at 07:21 am

Three days in a row. Wooo! Doing alright.

So I logged into Mint this morning to look at my budget. So far, so good for the most part. My income is on track, and the only place I'm starting to near my limit is groceries - which was largely due to the extra $50 I spent yesterday on some bigger ticket items. But I think I can stretch things pretty far for the rest of them month. At least I'm hoping. If I'm a bit over, at least it's because I'm cooking, right? Also, I see a nice challenge in trying to use the stuff that's been in our cupboards and freezer. It helps me get creative.

Dropped off my car payment yesterday, so that should hit. Today shouldn't see too much in the way of spending. I do need to get gas before tomorrow, as I'm on E and heading over to the other side of town early in the morning to hit another BNI meeting. This morning's meeting was really productive (in my own chapter). Met an interior designer saying she's desperately in need of a photographer right now. So good things are happening!

Dinner tonight will be leftovers. I made a double batch of meatloaf last night, so I don't have to cook tonight. This is good considering it's going to be a late night of editing. Trying to meet a deadline a couple of days ahead of schedule.

So that's my update! Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Grocery Shopping & Week's Menu

October 7th, 2015 at 01:48 pm

Wednesdays are my shopping days, because that's a good friend has that day off of work - and we go shopping together every week. It's kind of our weird, nerdy thing. haha. But mostly, we both are lightweight obsessed with Aldi. And Target. So it works out.

This week I spent $43.03 at Aldi and $54.20 at Target - mostly because we were out of cat food ($17.49 for the big bag), BADLY needed to replace our furnace filter ($12.39), and needed more vitamins ($8.19). The remaining items at Target were lean cuisines, a box of Kraft mac & cheese, and a random item for $5 that will be a gift to friends. All in all, a very productive trip. On the menu for this coming week:

- Meatloaf + Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Homemade Perogies
- Turkey Tenderloin + Butternut Squash Risotto
- Split Pea Soup
- Lasagne Rolls
- Emergency Pizza

We call frozen pizzas in our house "emergency pizza" because it's really a backup. We keep them around when we don't feel like cooking or are craving junk, to keep us from running out to a restaurant. A $2.50 pizza in the freezer tends to be a better bet than spending $20 out. And we have those garbage food cravings more than I care to admit...

Tonight I'll be making the meatloaf for us and our friends' dinner night. We trade off every week, so it's a nice treat for one couple to not have to cook, and it's an excuse to get together and play board games. I'm thinking we'll have a friend or two over on Sunday when I make the perogies as well. I've never made them myself, but this past week I did an authentic Hungarian chicken paprikas that was soooooo good, and now I'm feeling adventurous Smile

Really, I'm just excited that I'm in the mood to cook again. Last night I was stoked that the husband was at a work dinner so I didn't have to cook... but then I was really craving Chinese. So I made myself fried rice and baked a batch of peanut butter cookies on top of that. So much for not cooking. haha.

But honestly, we save so much money when we do cook - and this past week we used up everything we purchased. I'm trying to rid us of the bad habit of buying food and letting it go bad. Another habit that I'm not proud to admit, and is more true than I'd like it to be. Now that I've got a bit more time to prepare my menu and actually cook, I'm seeing it as a nice challenge.


Speaking of having more time, this weekend will be the first in 3 months where I don't have a single shoot (or am getting married). It feels GLORIOUS to have the whole weekend to use however I want. While I'm sure I'll spend at least a few hours editing, we've also planned some fun fall activities. Mostly carving pumpkins and hiking. Cheap, and a lot of fun. Can't wait!!

Hope you are all having a great Wednesday!

Moving Money Around

October 6th, 2015 at 06:28 am

So things are going well this week - we actually cooked all of the meals we intended to over the last week, finishing up last night with delicious omelettes and bacon. Tomorrow I go grocery shopping, so I'll be making my list tonight.

I hopped on Mint and checked my budget for the month. So far so good. Last week I *did* buy a shirt while I was at Target getting the rest of my groceries after Aldi... but that's not going to happen again this month. Frivolous spending ban.

I moved some money from my business to personal account, and then sent a $1,000 payment to DH for last year's taxes. I'm way behind on paying him back. A couple of people seemed surprised when they found out I was still planning to pay him back even after we're married now. But yes. I hold up my end of the bargain. That's money he can keep in his personal account and do with it what he likes. He'll end up indirectly spending it on me when I'm super broke this winter, anyway Wink haha. But really, let's hope not.

Tonight, DH is at a work dinner, and I'll be eating random stuff from the cupboards - or a lean cuisine, which sounds delightful. It's always kind of nice when he's away for dinner. It makes me feel like I'm a weird, single girl living on my own again (aka, I don't have to cook).


I'm in the process of planning a trip down to Nashville later this month - I need to start doing some serious networking. I've got one event I'm hitting, and then 2 BNI meetings. I'm already in a chapter here in Ohio, but I think it'll be a great way to start meeting people once I'm down there. My goal is to schedule one shoot while I'm in the area as well - I've reached out to a musical group who was looking for a photographer on Craigslist, so hopefully that will work out. I'll also be scheduling meetings with wedding vendors, so I'm going to make as much out of the few days I have.

I haven't figured out where I'm staying yet, but it's looking like it will probably be AirBnB, to keep costs down. Thankfully, all of the expenses will at least be write-offs, and I'll get quite a bit of mileage. I just need to get the prep done. I need to print new business cards, samples, and probably some kind of flyer or promotional piece. I'll be trying to keep my expenses down for all of that as much as I can, but they're important - so I'm going to bite the bullet.

All in all, though, I'm excited to get down there and start making connections. Moving my business to a whole new city where I know absolutely nobody is a bit intimidating, but I love a challenge. And hopefully I'll schedule a couple of shoots down there in the winter. I need to start getting Nashville imagery on my site, and hopefully some musical artists - that's such a big market for me to break into. I'm thinking I might just go to an open mic night or something and try and connect with people there as well. Who knows! I might even bring my guitar and join in also Wink

At any rate, I hope you are all having a lovely Tuesday!

Back (Again)

October 5th, 2015 at 02:10 pm

Here we are again... another one of those times that I disappear from this site for months and come back in desperate need of getting my s#!t together...

So a lot has happened since May. I turned 29 (woo!). Wedding season began, and with it my busiest time of year. Also, I got married just last month (double woo!). And now finally things are calming down. Well, now I'm playing catchup following all of that craziness... but soon! Soon things will be very calm. And now they are calm enough now for me to look around and freak out a bit. Because things are a bit rough, at least financially.

In the midst of the wedding craziness, I was spending much more than I should - on the wedding itself, and then on restaurant meals (because we hardly cooked from August through September), and also on two different trips I took over the summer. One, granted, was for work - so I have some write-offs there at least... but still. Not cheap.

But mostly I'm freaking out a little because things ARE going to be calm here soon, and while that's great for my sanity... it's not as great for my bank account. And I have bills (and taxes!) to pay.

I've started looking things over, getting a feel for where I'm actually at right now, what I need to make up, and brainstorming ways to get more bookings through the winter so I'm not set up for failure. I've also put myself on a very serious spending ban.

And that's just to get me up to speed. Soon, we'll get our marriage license back, open a joint account, and start figuring out what our finances are going to look like as a married couple. Which we talked about prior to actually getting married - we just have to actually put it all into practice and hammer out the details.

And on top of that, we're moving out of state in just 7 short months. And there's a lot of prep that needs to go into that so... things will remain quite interesting!

Given all of these details, I really need to make my budget a priority. And getting on SA regularly to record my updates is a great way of doing that. I just have to hold myself accountable. So here I am. Ready to get this party started!