The Yuck, The Wedding, and The Move

I feel extra yucky today.

I read a magazine in the car today (for like 5 minutes) and now I have a headache and nausea….car reading is the DEVIL!

We went to the bridal fair today. It was fun, we had some samples and got some free stuff, along with a TON of crap we don’t want. The samples gave me a weird heartburn…ugg.

I also wore High heels, which are actually pretty comfortable, but I wore them grocery shopping afterward and now I have a blister on my pinky.

I feel extra fat these days. none of my pants really fit, so I’m wearing leggings way too often.

Sounds like our car sold today, officially a car-less person. This makes me nervous for the future.

In slightly better news, I made all of our SAVE THE DATES last night. I’m also 99% done collecting people address’ for the wedding, which is good. I need to call my grandma to get a few more. Hoping to send them out in the next month.

I also am in need of Grey A1 Envelopes to mail the Save The Dates, as I think a quality colored envelope is extra special. Mr. Gaunt even figured out how to print all the address’ directly on the envelopes, which will save us a lot of time and look nicer. My handwriting is only good for about 20 envelopes, not 70.

I applied for a job today, one that I’m not really qualified for, but would love to have. I mean as far as corporate jobs go. What I really want is to work for myself, not someone else, but it may be a few years. Gotta get Mr. Gaunt through school. I still have two seasonal back-ups.

It sounds like the house we wanted to rent is a done deal. This is a pretty big stress reliever. Its going to be fun fixing it up and growing a garden and all that good stuff. I’m very much looking forward to having my brother help me plant some stuff and pour a slab for a patio.

I booked my plane ticket home! March 14th at 10am I am officially BACK IN WASHINGTON! So pleasing, no going back now.

We found out Jenny and Justin are having a GIRL! I’m so excited for this! We are gonna have Liam pull her down the aisle in a little flower covered wagon….adorable I know. Makes me super sad that we wont be here for her birth.  Liam wants to name her Firetruck Sue…I know, its perfect.

Our neighbor always locks her Kitten out in the hall, so we took it in for the afternoon. It pretty much assures me that I DO NOT need a kitten. Hula is all the cat that I require. A dog on the other hand could be fun.

It sounds like my little sister wants to be my workout buddy when I move! I’m super stoked to get gym memberships with her and start getting in shape! I’m just so much looking forward to bonding with my family again.

Well that’s about it, sorry to ramble, but it helped make some of the Yuck go away. Asparagus for dinner tonight!

I leave you with some pics from this weekend:

Liam and Mr. Gaunt discussing his new baby sister

Liam reading the photo book we made him (more on this later)

Sneak Peak at our Save The Dates. DIY HOW-TO later

On our way to the Wedding Show

He only went because it was at Invesco

 

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Reasons that Today was awesome

1. HAPPY DO DO EEUM! (the boy turns 2 tomorrow, he had quite the party today)

Megan, Eeum, and Say Say. How I love them so.

2. THIS ARRIVED IN THE MAIL. (and its perfect in every way. I could not be happier)

3. WE ARE DRINKING THIS (well I am…Tori Spelling recommended it on Twitter…lol)

4. WE ARE WATCHING THIS.

5. AND READING THIS. (I like to read while watching a film, and I didnt know this existed, very exciting)

Life Up and Down-sized.

NOTE: This is a very long and probably boring blog about our current plans and finances. Im mostly writing it to myself just to lay it all out, but would love any comments or opinions on any of the situation.  (=

Our good friend Jake is in town this weekend. Jake is a financial guru, kind of. He majored in finances in college and has worked in banks for quite some time. He’s very smart and financially together. He deals mostly with home loans and things of that nature, so he has been giving us advice on our financial situation.

Mr. Gaunt and I are a big cross roads with our life and our money. We are currently living at the top of our means, and we are looking to upgrade our future. Both of us are not great with money, we have both spent the last (5 for me) 10 years acting as if we don’t really need to think about the future and that when the time comes we will figure it out. TIMES UP FOLKS!

-We currently rent an adorable 2 bedroom (1000 sq ft) apartment in Colorado. It’s very nice and upgraded and we love it. However it is WAY too expensive, especially for renting. We have friends that pay as much or a little less that we do on their mortgages. On top of that we have a number of utilities to pay for. And the truth is, we feel like we have almost outgrown this place. With two bedrooms, our second room quadruples as an Office (with 2 desks and computers), A sewing and craft room (I have craft supplies coming out my ears), storage for extra bedding and blow up mattress for guests, storage for things like vacuums, board games, electronic equipment, painting supplies….the list goes on. Its pretty much crammed full of stuff, only organised enough so that I don’t go crazy. It’s so though that its hard to even do projects in there because it makes such a huge mess in the tiny space.

So of course we really want to buy a house. Of course we have no credit or down payment money. And renting a house seems like SUCH a waste. To even find a descent house to rent would put us way over our budget. It’s just not possible.

-We also currently have 2 cars. My car has a car payment…uggg. When my old car seized its engine back in May I went out and got a new (10-year-old) car to replace. Finally sucking it up and paying a car payment. At the time I did it, I really didn’t think I had any other options. Looking back it was a HUGE mistake.

I have spent the last year cancelling all of our extra service. Cable, gym, weight watchers, netflix, etc. I had saved us a little over $200 a month doing this. Well one freak accident and a car payment later and we have no savings anymore.

We also HAD to do some work on Mr. Gaunt’s car, that and the vacation to Washington in July (which I wouldnt take back for the world) completely wiped out our savings. Im talking $0 left. So now we sit living paycheck to paycheck.

So Mr. Gaunt and I have spent the last 3 months trying to convince both of our bosses to let me transfer to his team at work. So we can sell my car and carpool. We finally got the ok, and Friday will be my last day on my team. This is such a relief! So I plan on putting my car up for Sale on Craigslist this week. Hopefully ***FINGERS CROSSED*** I can sell it for about what I owe, and be done with it. There will be challenges to only having one car, but the savings (of almost $300 a month) will be so worth it. It was also make things easier when we move, as we can just tow the other car behind the uhaul.

-The wedding is our next big expense. I get mixed opinions when I talk to people about the wedding and the cost. For Mr. Gaunt and I its important to have a nice wedding for our friends and family to celebrate our union. Many people say “elope, or do it the back yard” but that’s not what we want. I’m sorry. I’m absolutely one of those girls that has dreamed about planning her wedding for years. The whole process is fun and exciting and wonderful! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course we don’t really have the money to go big. I’m trying my hardest to be crafty and frugal and make sacrifices in things like location and photographer so the we can keep it in budget (whatever that may be) the wedding wont be big, probably less than 100 guests. We are making all the food and drink and decorations. I plan to get an inexpensive dress and make my own invitations. But it’s still expensive. At this point we are hoping to keep it between $6k-$8k. Which seems like a lot unless you look at the national average of $20k for weddings. We are also taking all the help we can get, be it labor or gifts or whatever anyone wants to contribute. Weddings are a beautiful way for family and friends to come together and celebrate. We want the whole things to be as fun and low stress as possible. Go with the flow.

-And on to moving. We will be moving some time in April (or lease ends at the end of April) we have signed a 6 month lease starting in October. When the time gets closer we will look into the options of transferring our jobs or getting new ones. We really want to move to Olympia, but the most important thing in moving is finding affordable housing, schools, and jobs. Mr. Gaunt is currently looking into/thinking about going to nursing school in the winter of 2011, so we need to find a place where he can do that. And yes we understand that he will have to pay out of state tuition for the first year or so.

Moving fees in generall are going to be high. Renting a uhaul will cost us anywhere from $1500-$2000 to move to another state. YIKES! We are currently trying to decide if it makes more sense to just sell stuff and buy new instead of paying those costs. although things like our bed and couch are not things we want to give up, and they of course are the things that require the large moving trucks. I have even looked in to PODS and things of that nature, also crazy expensive. Our friend in Olympia have offered to let us stay with them for a short while so we can get jobs and look for places, otherwise we will have to rent something long distance.

We are also talking about really drastically downsizing our place of living once we move. Like I said we would love to have a house, but we want to buy one, not rent one. So we need to save money. If we can suck it up and rent a smaller one bedroom apartment for a year or two and save $300-$400 a month on rent then maybe we can get our shit together enough o buy a house. This would mean getting rid of lots of stuff and being ok with having just one bedroom for a while. It even means registering for wedding gifts might need to just be in gift cards so we can save them for when we do get a house. Would our guests be cool with just giving us money/giftcards?

-Mr. Gaunt is also in the works of building his credit. Neither of us have a lick of credit, although I have about $1000 I owe in old fees that I just havent been able to pay off. Which is why we are working on his credit first, I know its important for me too, I just need to pay that money off. Apparently its near impossible to get a credit card when you have no credit. We are working with our bank to get a “good customer” exception letter going to hopefully get a starter credit card. We have also been talking to Jake about our options for IRA’s and such to build some savings, as well as proper ways to use credit cards to help and not hurt you. ITs all just a very long complicated process, and unfortunately as Jake says, we are staring off in a bad economic time. Although there’s no time like the present!

-We are also working a LOT on our painting business. We have had great feedback, lots of email inquiries, and couple sales. We have plans to do a craft fair in October and I’m working my butt off promoting and listing new items. We really hope that this can be some extra income.

We are also looking into extra work. We both worked yesterday for time and half, and are working on Monday for double time. This will add almost 25% more to our paychecks. I also applied for a season position at Pier 1 that I could work in the evenings. We just have to make the sacrifice and work our butts off these days.

So that’s where we are at. I need to once again re work our budget to salvage any money we could be saving. And I want to note that even if we weren’t moving we still need to do this. We need to learn the value of a dollar and the hard work of paying yourself first. Life hands you all sorts of obstacles, and if you really want something you have to know how to get it. The next 2-3 years are going to be some of the hardest and most rewarding years of our lives. These are the years that we will build our future off of. And we thank everyone for their love and support during this time.

TODAYS TO DO LIST:

(I sacrificed a pool party and bbq and a sweet baby boy to get some shit done around here)

-Laundry

-Grocery Shopping

-Make dinner plans for the week. Ive been good at making enough dinner to have lunch for the both of us the next day.

-Make pumpkin scones and granola bars

-Finish painting and packaging up painting

-List 2 new items on Etsy

-Research selling my car

-Go through art supplies for garage sale. And the rest of the house.

-Call my mom, and maybe the grandparents too.

-Research housing and moving options.

And because it goes against my religion to post with out pictures:

Lists are for Lovers

I have decided to make a list of all that’s going on in the next bit. I’m feeling a hair overwhelmed and I think a list will help me focus! Today Mr. Gaunt and I DEEP cleaned our spare room (which is mostly craft supplies, office stuff, and board games) and got rid of a ton of crap! Well we put it into bags and boxes in hopes of having a big garage sale. We wont really be able to have another garage sale before we move so I hope we can sell most of it this summer. I’m going to really try not to buy anymore stuff over the next year. We will be moving and then getting married, so we will need to get rid of lots and then get new nicer stuff. For birthdays and christmas and such I’m hoping to DO fun things rather than buy more stuff we don’t need. Even clothes, and I’m a clothes WHORE! But nope…no more clothing shopping for me! I have plenty! Except new underwear, Id like new underwear and new tennis shoes for my birthday.

I’ve also come to the realization that the less clothing and dishes you have, the less laundry and dishwashing you have to do…DING DING DING! So Buh-Bye to all the “extra” dishes we only keep as backups. And Buh-Bye to all the crappy tank tops and ill fighting jeans that I only keep incase the good ones are dirty. I hate them anyways and they just cause more mess!

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t have a garage or yard to have a garage sale, so I’m hoping one of our wonderful friends will offer theirs up…wink wink. Because I hate to just donate all this stuff when we could maybe make a little cash, which we DESPERATELY need.

Anyways on to my list:

1. August 23rd **fingers crossed*** I move to Mr. Gaunt’s Team at Work

2. Decide which car we are going to sell. We may now sell Mr. Gaunt’s for a number of reasons.

3. Get Credit cards! We NEED to build credit in the next year.

4. Have a new tail pipe put on Mr. Gaunt’s car

5. CAR WASHES!

6. Look into getting an engagement ring made. financially we have been holding off on this…)=

7. Join the gym! Mr. Gaunt wants us to both go together and get our butts in shape for the wedding!

8. Get new Tennis shoes. The ones I currently have my mom bought me in August of 2006 right before I moved to Colorado.

9. Talk to our Landlord about signing a 6 month lease.

10. September 25th Put deposit down on Wedding Venue

11. Plan trip for just me back to Washington in DEcember to look at wedding stuff

12. Pay Mr. Gaunt’s mom back for…oh a million things…lol! We should just give all of our paychecks to her!

13. Keep working on paintings! Mamma needs some new shoes!

14. Look into rescuing a new kitten. Dumb friends league of Denver is doing free adoption and spaying until 8/31

15. SAVE $$$ SAVE $$$ SAVE! We gotta move and pay for a wedding this year!

I leave you with some pics from a few weekends ago when we helped Jenny and Justin paint their new basement and Liam’s new haircut!

Jenny and I. Yes I'm wearing a Weird Al shirt!

It's gonna be super sweet when its done!

In his Boundary Bay-bies Shirt!

He looks like such a big boy...makes me sad!

Concert in The Park

We went with Jenny and Liam to see her dad’s band Dakota Blonde play at a park in Littleton tonight. We stopped at Whole Foods and got yummy food for a picnic. The band was quite good, the company even better.

Mr. Gaunt and I leave tomorrow night for Washington. We will be back in a little over a week. I could not need this vacation more!

XOXO

Morgan

Can crafting make us money?

This is my ultimate life goal: To make money being crafty. My mom did it, my best friends parents did it too. Hundreds of people on Etsy do it every day! I however have yet to find my THING. Something I am good at, that people want to buy. I dabbled a bit in felt sewn art, but found that although people thought it was cool, they didn’t really understand it. I made a few hundred dollars over the year, but basically just put it back into art supplies.

Last week I had a breakthrough! Seriously. While thinking up a gift for Jenny’s birthday I came across an idea that just might be something people would want to buy! We have actually done this before, but this one turned out extra good, good enough to sell even.  Basically we will be making custom stencil paintings of babies, people, weddings, pets etc (see example below) at a reasonable price.

Mr. Gaunt and I got all excited and after hearing such great responses from people we really think we are going to give this little idea a shot. Jenny’s husband Justin is onboard too, he is going to help us with the marketing aspect, because that’s what we kind of stink at, and he is very good at it.

The next few weeks we will be putting together some examples and working with Justin on how to get this started. Wish us luck!

Oh and here is what we made for Jenny. It’s from a photo I took about 4 months ago of little Liam, I wish I had taken a better pic of the finished product. As you can see its pretty large.

Mr. Gaunt holding the painting of Liam

Based on this photograph