Tips for Getting Rid of “UnGreen” Products

As some of you may know, in the past few years, I’ve started paying more attention to what’s in the items I buy. I have lessened the amount of processed food I eat, looked for natural treatments for minor illnesses and injuries, and I’ve cut out a lot of the harsh cleaners we used to use in our home.

Today, Jenn from Live a Fast Life published an article of mine with some tips for getting rid of those unwanted products when you switch over. Check it out, and be sure to check out her other blog posts too! be sure to leave comments if you have creative ways of your own to get rid of those preservative-filled body care products and cleaners!

2016 Financial Update (I bought a car!)

If you’ve been following my sporadic financial posts for the past few years, you may remember that I’m taking a break from aggressively paying off my student loans this year to focus on some more personal financial goals. In 2016, I am trying to live just as frugally and continue to increase my income, but the extra funds are going toward two items:

  • My wedding
  • replacing the truck I’ve had for 9 years

I still advocate for paying off debt as quickly as possible, and after these things are done, I will go right back to paying off my loans as quickly as possible. But I don’t want my life to be completely defined by my loans. That’s why we decided that though we have a pretty reasonable wedding budget, we’re not going to limit ourselves too much.

The reason replacing my truck is on the list is because it is negatively impacting my life on a daily basis. The number of things wrong with it grows every few months and the repairs aren’t worth it. The fact that the air conditioning doesn’t function is particularly awful in the Idaho Summers.

And now, 6 months into 2016, I have met one of my major financial goals of the year! I purchased a 2007 Kia Spectra! Because of my savings and the fact it was a private sale, I was able to pay for the car in cash, meaning no accumulated debt! I’ll be getting better gas mileage, which is great for my daily commute, and it has working AC. I also have more space for people, which is an added convenience. And I still have plenty of space to haul all my Farmer’s Market Booth supplies!

The purchase did essentially wipe out my savings, so the next few months will be spent building that back up to a reasonable amount. Luckily, even with the wedding purchases that  I have left, it’s looking like I’ll have plenty of room to build my savings back up and maybe even make a bonus loan payment at the end of this year!

How are your financial goals looking halfway through this year?

 

 

Wedding Ring Mistakes

Luckily, Michael and I had a pretty easy-going experience ring shopping. But there are lots of mistakes people make when looking for the perfect ring. Here’s an article I wrote about it for the Ring Safe blog!

Debt Shaming

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I’ve ranted before about Dave Ramsey making people in debt feel stupid, but today Money Mini Blog has published an article of mine about the general practice of debt shaming and how it can discourage those trying to dig out of debt.

Check it out here, and let me know what you think!

 

Self Care

I’ve been reading a lot about self-care recently, and people make a lot of assumptions about people who don’t practice the same hygiene and pampering methods as they do.

So I wrote a piece about why self-care and pampering aren’t the same thing and how lack of certain body care activities do not necessarily mean you are neglecting your body or self.

Check it out at Mookychik!

Craft Room Organization

Hey Everyone! I”ve been featured on Wondermom Wannabe with an article about organizing craft supplies!  Check it out! I’ll be cleaning my craft room (again)!

Wondermom Wannabe- Keeping Craft Supplies Under Control

Design A Wine Cellar You’ll Love as Much as Your Wine!

 

wine rack

If you’re like me, you have a growing collection of wine bottles! Mine is mostly empty bottles that I use to make my lamps, but I’m thinking about getting a wine rack for wine that hasn’t been drunk yet as well.

If you’re looking for tips on wine storage design, check out this article I wrote for the Ben Franks Wine Blog. There are some fun facts about aging wine that you might not have known!

Get your yard ready for summer

Are you looking for ways to get outside more and improve your health? Check out this article about doing just that!

Make Your yard a Summer Paradise

 

I Finally Have A Business!

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I’ve been talking for years about starting a business, and I finally have one! It’s not a freelance writing or editing business or a marketing company (though I am still working toward something like that someday). It’s a craft booth!

Yes, I’ve been making bottle lamps like the one above for about 2 years now, and now I’ll be selling them at the Nampa Farmer’s Market! My friend Tanya is sharing the booth with me, selling handmade hula hoops and salad planters. We have decided to sell under the name, Full Circle Crafts. Here’s our facebook page– we still need to make a logo and get some better photos up, but we’ve got a great start!

The Farmer’s Market has been super helpful so far in giving great tips to vendors for marketing our booths. They had a workshop with all the tax information, marketing tips, and other information we need. The Secretary of the Farmer’s Market Board said something that really stuck with me. “You are all small business owners. This may be a hobby, but you are selling items you created. You are a business, and you need to market and sell like one.”

The market starts next week and I am super excited. The market board is super supportive of its vendors, and I’m sure I’ll create some great relationships with fellow business owners. I’ve already gotten some great advice from people who have had booths for years.

In preparation for my booth, I’ve started reading more articles with business advice. Sure, a lot of them are craft fair specific, but I also find articles with advice for startups super useful. For example, this article offers some great tips on launching a startup, like seeking out mentors and always looking to innovate and improve.

Since I’ve been reading so much about booth marketing, my next post will be specifically about how we’re choosing to set up our booth, and what we’re doing so far to market.

 

Storing Your Wine in Style!

Since I started making bottle lamps, I’ve stopped throwing away wine and liquor bottles. This quickly led to an unwieldy amount of bottles cluttering up my craft room. Luckily, my fiance is awesome and found a great deal on a wine rack at a thrift store. It holds almost 100 bottles!

If you’re looking for ways to store your wine (or just the bottles), check our this article I wrote for Uncorked Ventures!

 

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