Monday, December 31, 2012


As I'm sure everyone is aware, today is the last day of 2012

Like everyone else, I can't help reflect about this year that is passing.

2012 was a rough year for me, and actually cannot wait for it to end.

You see, 
I try to keep this blog out of my "personal" problems
because it would really be boring.
So I tend to only focus on crafts and clothes and other things besides my challenges.
I've had to face things I never knew I was strong enough to handle.
Things like

It certainly wasn't an easy year.
There were several times when I wanted to throw it all away and give up.

 but, all these things (I hope) have made me stronger.
and all of these challenges proved to me that I can handle anything. 
Through it all, I knew that God will take care of me.
He loves me.

and you know,
a lot of great things happened in 2012.
I got to spend my summer with my cousins and grandparents.
I started a new job that I love.
I got to spend some great quality time with my best friend who lives out of state.
I made the dean's list at my college.
I started a blog!

all these wonderful moments would never have happened if I had given up when things got tough.
If I had thrown in the towel and said "that's it, God! I'm done!"

In hard times, it's easy to blame God.
To ask "Why me?" 
But God allows these challenging times to help mold us into better human beings.

Hard times are apart of his purpose:
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28

My challenges this past year were apart of His divine plan.

Today, I thank God today for those challenges.
Because without them,
I wouldn't be who I am now.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."-Romans 5:3-5

So I know that whatever challenges 2013 brings, I am ready.
I am strong
I am loved
and I won't give up
because God is good.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


life rearranged

Hmm. I may have missed instafriday, but I'm sure posting on a saturday couldn't hurt.
Be ready for picture overload,

last week, before we left for my grandparents, I babysat this little dude.
We watched diego and he fell asleep.

After, we headed to the interstate to begin our 14 hour drive to northwest georgia.
and by we, I mean myself, my brother, my mom, and our two dogs.
one of which had never been on a road trip before.
add on the fact we drive the world's smallest car (a ford fiesta)
it was fun.
(i'm using that term loosely)

but it was worth it because this is what we arrived to.

On christmas, we watched one of my favorite movies.
a classic in our household.

I tell ya, if this isn't true love,
then I don't know what is.

we drove 45 minutes to go to downtown Chattanooga.
I love it!
The weather was iffy.
but beautiful nonetheless.

Then we went to the E.P.B building to look at their windows all decked out for Christmas.
It was awesome!

this guy was so cute!
too bad he's stuffed.

So cool, huh!?!

and we had some pretty cool family time.
actually, lots of it.

This morning I woke up to this!
snow and fog.
love this house
and this mountain.
and this family.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In which I pay retail: Designer Clothes for Goodwill Prices

I hope you guys had a fabulous christmas! Mine was filled with love, laughter, family and lots and lots of peanut butter balls.

oh wait, where were we?
oh yes, 

Something I am not a fan of.

I am cheap.
and by cheap, I mean I buy the majority of my clothes at secondhand stores like goodwill.
But I also have general things that I refuse to buy secondhand.
things like underwear, bras, socks.
cause that would be gross.

but my cheapness doesn't stop when I walk into a department store or the mall.
I think I would die if I actually had to pay full price for something.

I either 
A. buy things on sale
B. use a coupon
C. buy things on clearance
D. buy things on sale, on clearance, and with a coupon
(this is the best)

So, with the holiday sales so great these past few weeks, I thought I'd share a few deals I snagged up at actual stores
not goodwill.
and share a few tips with you on how to save money while shopping retail.

Tip #1:
Shop Outlet Stores

this is the best way to save on designer/ name-brand items

Now, I am lucky enough to have a ginormous outlet mall close to my house.
If you don't know if one is close, google your area to find one.
(Stick around even if you don't, most of these tips can be used at regular places too!)

Outlet malls are great.
Stores will generally have things that didn't sell out, or with minor imperfections at a discounted price.
Plus, on top of the already marked down price, they usually have sales.
You can score some amazing things.

For example:
This J.Crew sweater
So, the original price was $75
(crazy! who would pay that for a sweater)
it was marked down at the outlet for $54.97
(still crazy)
the store was having a 40% sale which brought the price to $32.98
(getting better)

when I walked into the store they handed me a 20% off coupon in addition to the already 40% sale.
(This is where it gets good.)
so, with the coupon it came to $26.39
I had store credit from a return which brought my total to...
for a nice (and cute) J.crew sweater!
that's 85% off!
now, granted not everyone will have store credit,
but still, at $26
that is a great price.

Tip #2: Take advantage of Coupons, and stack them with sales!
I probably wouldn't have purchased that sweater if I didn't have that extra 20% off. $32 is a lot to me to spend, but since I stacked that coupon with the 40% off sale, I walked away with a great deal on an adorbs sweater.
I also scored this scarf from J.crew for $11 with all the same deals.

After J.crew, I went to one of my favorite stores
The Loft.

Crazy expensive normally, 
but at the outlet, 
I can afford.

which brings me to
Tip #3:
 Skip the regular priced items and head straight for the clearance section!

This particular Loft outlet has a normally priced section with everything you'd find in the regular store
and a clearance/ outlet section

I got this blouse:

It was on clearance for $19.99
and the outlet was running a 30% off sale.
I got this top for $13.99.
and in my opinion, that's a great buy!

also I got this tee

I love final sale stickers.
this means that this is the lowest price the store can offer.
and the best part is, the precent off also included the final sale items
I got this shirt for $8.94

and the last stop I made at the outlet mall was to
American Eagle Outfitters.
I love this store, but they are expensive.
Following tip #1 and #2, I scored big.
I found two dresses.

I fell in love with this one.
I loved the peter pan collar and the vintage feel.

It was on clearance for $29.99
and the entire store was 40% off.
I got this for $17.99
that's around 55% off.

This next dress is amazing:

This dress was not on clearance.
and it was expensive.
I know, I know, I broke my own rules.
I absolutely loved it.
Tip #4: Know when to splurge (and save on those splurges!)

It was a really good quality, heavy material.
It could be dressy or casual
It can be worn year round for every season 
when styled accordingly.

I loved every single aspect about it
the bow, the cut-out, the color.
I tried it on and it fit perfectly.

  Keeping all these things in my head, 
I knew the dress would get worn often, 
and it would be worth the splurge.

It the 40% off sale was even for regular priced items.
that was the icing on the cake.

I got it for $29.97
So, it was more than I'd normally spend,
but I loved it 
and it was on sale.

which leads me to 

Tip #5:
Find something you love? Wait for a Sale (or even clearance!)

Okay, say you don't have an outlet mall near you.
Do not be afraid my friend!
I still snag some great deals at regular stores

Old Navy

Love the store, but without sales, things are way over priced.

I had been eyeing these pants for a while,
but refrained from buying until they were on sale.
They did, in fact, go on sale for $19
I still felt like that was a lot for jeans that wouldn't last that long 
(old navy's quality is questionable.)
So I waited even more.

and I am so glad I did.
Literally the day after the sale ended, 
they went on clearance for $16.99
and with old navy's  40% off (one day only) christmas sale
they came to $10.19
ahh, much better, no?
and if I wear them twice and they wear out,
I will feel better knowing I'm only out ten bucks, rather than $22!

and my final deal of the day came from Khols.
I either can't find a single thing I like there, or I find a lot I love.
Nevertheless, they always have great deals and almost always have a coupon available.

I found these maroon/purple-ish jeans on the 90% off clearance section.
(which by now you should know is my favorite section of the store.)

They were originally $48
I found them on sale for $4.80
which is an amazing deal by itself,
but all the clearance merchandise was another 20% the lowest marked price
which brought them down to $3.60
and the best thing is
I had a 20% off anything coupon!
The total for my jeans came to
Thats around 95% off!

See, I told you I'm cheap. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012


life rearranged

Well, folks we made it.
The end of the world.
I, personally, cannot wait for the apocalypse
because then I don't have to do laundry.

but that's another story.

Follow me on insta: I'm achammer

My car was on E
and I filled up for $26
There is a santa!

While nannying, I get to hang out with this guy.
He had an infection in his teeth, so they all had to be removed.
Which makes his tongue just hang out
on the side of his mouth.

Someone I know
is getting a really cool package

Then, I got the stink eye from my dog.

and I officially got the best birthday present. ever.

yummy ho cho on a cold night

only problem is the cold night thing has been lacking.
it was 79* wednesday
then boom!
Gotta love Texas weather.

have a great one!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Book Tree

By now it should be no surprise that I kinda like Christmas. 
in fact, just the other day, I showed you my room/house decorated for the season.
However, in that post, I kinda skipped out on you.
I didn't show you probably the coolest aspect of my decor.
My book tree:

So, I am a bookaholic.

I even have a whole board on pinterest dedicated to books.

Knowing this, you can probably understand that when I saw this pin:

                                                      Source: Uploaded by user via Amber on Pinterest

I knew I had to make my own.

It worked out perfectly.
I used books that I use for "decor" 
(old reader's digest and double copies)
that way, if they became to bent, I wouldn't ruin one of my favorites.

See, bookaholic.

It was so simple. I just stacked them up according to size.

Then, I purchased this tiny star at target for $1.
I had a hard time getting it to balance on top,
so I just tacked it in to a cork lid I had lying around.

Oh, by the way...
see the book on top
"shakespeare on love"
I bought it at Shakespeare's house in Stratford-Upon-Avon two summers ago.
It is one of my favorites,
and I had to use it for the top because it is the smallest one I have.
(hopefully it doesn't bend to badly)

Oh, on a totally different note:
go read shakespeare's 116 sonnet.
it's my favorite

anyway, back to the tree

It's tiny, but I love it.
It is totally, 100% me.

and the best part?

the total project took me 20 minutes max 
and only cost $1.

                           Source: via Amber on Pinterest

So true.