I’ve been bitten…

20 Jul

I’ve not mastered the art of photography and I’ve only had a dSLR for just a few days, but already I can’t seem to get enough of it!  Sunday was my first day out with my “new” dSLR, and although I didn’t have enough time to play with setting and use the tips I’ve read, I was able to get a few interesting shots of statues and flowers at our cemetery.  Apparently that was all I needed to get hooked.

Statue at the Lexington Cemetery

I’ve probably wasted most of my work day staring out my window at the patch of beautiful, green grass.  All I can think of is how I wish I had my camera with me so that I could take some shots of it and see if I can make an interesting picture out of it.  Well, that and how I need to learn to use Gimp or Photoshop so that I can edit some of my pictures.

Well, I’m off to do a little more reading…

The Deal I Couldn’t Refuse

14 Jul

Ever since my last post I’ve scoured the web, trying to find the dSLR of my dreams on my tiny budget.  I’ve tried to get as creative as possible, looking at trades or getting cheap deals on the items they are looking to trade for.  Then the deal I couldn’t refuse fell from the sky!

J was asking a very good friend (who has a photography business on the side) if he knew of a good deal on a used dSLR, since I suddenly developed an addiction to photography.  Next thing we know, our friend has just the perfect thing for  our shoestring budget!  It’s not the newest, shiniest dSLR available…but it’s the perfect one to get started on and make sure that this is something I really want to get into.  And for $100 with some wonderful extras (Canon Rebel 6.3MP, 2 lenses, extra batteries, memory cards & a bag), it’s the perfect deal!

So now we just have to wait for a good time to make the switch…and then a monster will be born!  I’m really hoping to get my hands on it by Saturday morning, because J and I have already talked about making plans for our cameras (downtown + farmer’s market = perfect)!

As if I weren’t already excited enough because of all the great things happening today (Papa Bear’s TV appearance to talk about his newest book & Roman Holiday on the big screen tonight), now I’m super giddy about the possibility of a picture perfect weekend!

My latest addiction

12 Jul

Have you ever become addicted to something before you actually participated in that activity? 

I know it sounds strange, but I have recently developed a new addiction that is taking over my thoughts…photography.  Yes, I’ve taken pictures before but not anything I would actually consider photography (I mean really, would you consider using a crappy point-and-shoot that takes blurry pictures participating in photography?).  I’ve been mesmerized by pictures my entire life, but with my need to be creative I’ve decided that spending hours browsing through old family photographs isn’t enough…I want to create pictures! 

Now that I’m older and have a digital point-and-shoot, I’m ready to learn more about photography.  I’m ready to quit taking blurry pictures and start taking beautiful, brightly colored pictures of the things I create or the things that inspire me.  After doing a little bit of reading, I’ve already decided that I won’t be quite as happy with my little point-and-shoot and want the real deal…but the frugal girl in me knows that the DSLR of my dreams will have to wait.

P.S. If you know of anywhere I could get a inexpensive, used DSLR in decent shape…please contact me!  I’m scouring CraigsList daily and searching frantically for one because I can’t stop thinking about it!

Any photography tips or tricks for an aspiring shutterbug?  If you have an recommendations on cameras, sites with information or DIY photography items…please share them!  I would love to make this not-so-frugal activity a little more frugal with some DIY accessories, and I’m sure other frugal shutterbugs would love to save a little money too.

Craft Room Dilemma

8 Jul

I have been so incredibly excited about finally having a craft room to hide in, but I didn’t realize that this new idea would pose such a dilemma for me.  Besides trying to figure out where to put all the boxes while I arrange and organize my craft room (yippee!! craft room!!), I need to figure out the perfect decor for my special personal space.

I’ve never really had much experience decorating before (who really cares enough to decorate a horrible, little apartment?), but now I can’t stop thinking of possible options for each and every room in our new abode.  I’ve made lists of possible decor to make myself, colors, and themes.  While we’ve pretty much settled on themes for the other rooms, I’m stuck when it comes to my craft room.

I’ve got two great options, but which to choose?

  • DIY or DIY-inspired decor: framed swatches, DIY paintings, creative quote wall stickers, etc.
  • Inspiration decor: pictures of people or things that inspire me, inspiration boards, idea boards, etc.

The only thing I know for sure is that I want my craft room to be a relaxing haven for me to be free to create anything that my heart desires.  Ever since we started planning the move, I’ve pictured myself spending relaxing weekends in my craft room crafting away and enjoying quality time with my sewing machine that I have yet to use.  Soon all those boxes will be gone and I can finally live my dream!

What does your personal craft space look like? How is it organized? Decorated?

Good Times on the Fourth

6 Jul

For the first time in the past month I got the change to spend a little time enjoying the new humble abode, and better yet J & I got to spend it with some of our closest friends and family!

To celebrate the new digs and the Fourth of July, we decided to host a fun potluck-style cookout where we provided the meat and everyone else brought either a dessert, side or drinks.  This past week definitely was not the most frugal of grocery trips (spending around $100, but $30 of that being things for the cookout and $20 being dog food that lasts a month), but somehow we’ve ended up making the cookout very frugal and fun.  Knowing how much some of the guys can eat, I figured the leftovers would amount to very little but I was very surprised to see how much was actually left over (and let with us).  Now it looks like those grocery dollars will be getting us by through part of next week, or we will be able to entertain more friends with left over sliders and hot dogs for a few more days.

Since we’ve moved into a home big enough to do lots of entertaining, we’ve been dreaming of all the get-togethers we will have…but with funds being limited put some of the plans on hold until I can master the art of couponing.  Now I’ve realized that we don’t have to wait!  The potluck cookout was so much fun, and frugal, that we can finally entertain the thought of entertaining.

What are some other frugal ideas for entertaining on a tiny budget?  Do you have any great frugal recipes for a potluck style get-together?

Free (or Frugal) Finds: Desk & Chair

2 Jul

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love finding good deals (or sometimes steals) on things I actually want.  When I was a broke college student, I could find some of the best bargains available without even trying…but for some reason I have to actually try a little harder now.  I’m still broke in some respects, but I guess because I have a little more money now I’ve not been as careful with my shopping as I used to be.

Well things have changed again, and now I’m a broke engaged girl who is going through some of the more expensive times in her life (moving, wedding, and trying to spend the next year or more saving for a down payment on our future house…wherever it is).  Now that J and I have a joint account, I’m trying to be even more careful with spending.  I’m not a shopaholic by any means, but I have found out recently that I love the idea of buying things for our new home.

We’ve been making lists of things we need (or want) for our new place, and the list is getting bigger which could be because we have twice the room in the duplex.  Since money is a little tight right now (did I mention moving is expensive?), luckily we’ve been on the same page about being more frugal and creative with getting these things.

What options are out there for frugal shoppers?

  • CraigsList
  • Friendly neighborhood curb
  • Thrift Store
  • Your usual store (but to be considered frugal, shop sales or have coupons…or better yet, do both!)
  • Barter/Trade

I do have to say, while I’ve not always been a fan of CraigsList (nothing but failed deals), I’ve lucked out recently on selling and buying from there.  During the move I wanted to get rid of an entertainment center that just didn’t fit our set up, so I had J post it on Craigslist for $50.  That same day, we did a little searching for a computer desk and chair of my own for our computer room/office set up.  My luck finally changed and I sold the entertainment center and bought a desk (seen on CraigsList) in the same day, and still I managed to keep $25 in my pocket!  And on J’s trip home from work, he found a perfectly good office chair, on the curb, that just needed a little cleaning. And another possible  deal is in the works…my luck has finally changed!

So what are some other good sources for free/frugal deals?  What are some great items you’ve scored lately?

Got any other great frugal tips?  If so, please share them with us…share the wealth!

Starting a New Chapter

29 Jun

Have you ever gotten so involved in the story your reading that you find yourself on the edge of you seat in anticipation of what the next chapter will bring?  I have many times, and I know I will many times more…and not just with stories, but with life. Right now I’m at a new starting point, and I’m ready to turn the page and see what happens next.

Once upon a time, on a foolish April day, a couple of geeks that were very much in love went for a walk on a beautiful Destin beach.  Little did the oblivious girl know that this would be a day that changed her life, because the love of her life was about to propose marriage to her.

From that day on my life has been filled with change, and I know it won’t stop any time soon…but that’s fine by me!  As if wedding planning isn’t enough, we decided to find a new place to live that was big enough for the both of us.  Nothing is more stressful to me than moving, unpacking I can handle but packing/moving gets me all scatter-brained.  One thing I’ve learned in all of this…moving is not cheap!

So what’s in store for the heroine of the story?

This new chapter is bringing about some new changes lessons to learn…I’m taking advantage of all of this and creating a new start!  After learning a few things about myself while in this crazy transition, I’ve found a few things I’d like to make a part of my life:

  • Go from frugal wannabe to frugalista.
  • Get more organized (maybe moving wouldn’t have been so bad if I was more organized).
  • Add a little more domesticity to my life (please don’t take that as being domesticated).
  • Get in control of my/our finances.
  • Put my eco-friendly thoughts into action.

So feel free to join me as I share about my lessons learned in this new journey, both good and bad, and feel free to share any valuable lessons you’ve learned in your adventures.

Good tips/advice is too valuable to keep to yourself…so be someone who shares well with others!