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Monthly Archives: February 2017

I’m Blair Waldorf

It’s been hard to write something inspiring the past few days. My mind has been heavier than a tow truck lately. I have so much stress I want rip my hair out. I know life could be so much worse, but I don’t do well under pressure… And who is putting all this weight on my shoulders? Me.

Life is going great until something decides to shift it into a totally different direction. Trying to find a new job and dealing with a low income is absolutely draining me. We have all been in this boat before right? At least once?

I have always been sort of a perfectionist. I wasn’t to the point where I was first in my class or valedictorian, but I had to be on the honor roll. I had to have a job while I was in school, have money in my bank account, and had to dress up nice every day for school. If I didn’t live up to my “16 going on 30” standards, I would beat myself up for it.

I made sure to rack up college credits before I graduated high school, moved out of my parents house when I graduated, bought my own car, and obtained my associates degree online while working so I wouldn’t have as much debt as my peers.

My life has always been a chase and honestly, I have been motivated to be better than others. Big word to swallow here.. jealousy. I have always been consumed by it and yes it aint pretty. Sure these achievements were good for me and my future, but the reasoning behind them wasn’t.

I’ve always thought of myself as “more mature” than people my age. Waving a big sign over my head of all my accomplishments. As I’m actually* maturing, I’m realizing what has been fueling me these years…why am I trying to impress everyone? Why do I feel like I have to “one up” the next person? Why is there a race and why do I have to get first?

It’s just like our mothers have told us since we were in middle school, I’m screaming for attention. Yikes, is that conceded enough? I want to be noticed instead of sitting in the back row. I am an outspoken person trying to get just a foot into the spotlight. I didn’t go out for sports in High School… I wasn’t apart of any teams, and I didn’t have a whole lot of friends.

Have you seen the show Gossip Girl? If you haven’t, you should because it’s amazing.

If you have, this will make sense to you…I see myself as a Blair Waldorf and every other girl I’ve been around is a Serena Van der Woodsen. Now I’m not a snobby and popular rich girl that manipulates to get what she wants, but I’m always in the shadow of someone else.

Every time I find something I’m good at, I get outshined. Whenever I take a picture, someone gets more likes. When things are going good at work, someone brags about their raise. So then I get into a competitive game where I have to be the best.

Here’s a secret… you’ll never win this game, because with this attitude there’s an endless cycle of “not good enough’s”. There’s always going to be another person that loves to decorate as much as you do and there will be a new selfie on Instagram everyday.

It’s good to have ambition to achieve your goals, but when everything is a competition it only stresses you out. It just turns into a complete mind game. Wave the white flag and surrender. This battle will just get old and destroy yourself esteem.

I want to become a better person. I want to stop comparing myself to others and thinking that I’m not good enough. I want to be proud of what I do, but also be proud of others too.

I need to slay with grace. Eventually Blair Waldorf grew up and stopped being ruled by her jealousy. How did she do this? Well it took her awhile to figure it out, but her shining moment came with class.

She didn’t care what other people were doing anymore and came up with her own ideas. She believed in herself and finally got her spotlight. She was actually happy when her world stopped revolving around envy.

Out of all shows I found this one to be inspiring to me…crazy right? So it all boils down to this point in my life. I’m barely making a sufficient income or getting attention from my décor anymore. Both are failures in my mind.

I was starting to pay off my debts… I was on a roll. I was going to be one of the first people in my class to be debt free at 21! This had to come to a halt when my living expenses taken over my entire paycheck. How can I keep impressing people if I have no money to spend on décor?! How can I brag to my sister that I have x amount of money in my checking account?!

It’s time to stop living for impressing. It’s time to grow up and realize things don’t just happen over night. When one door closes..another door opens. Sometimes it takes a little faith and confidence that everything is going to work out.

Life is NOT a race, be PATIENT. You ARE good enough. You ARE talented. You ARE pretty enough.. I came across this quote the other day  “Just because you don’t look like somebody you think is attractive, doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive. Flowers are pretty but so are Christmas lights but they look nothing alike.” I don’t know who to credit this quote to, but it is INSPIRING..

Comparing yourself to others will only make you bitter, so just simply be happy for other people. Let them inspire you, and then you can inspire others.

 

 

My Top 10 Fixer Uppers

Hey friends! So I’m sure many of you have seen Fixer Upper on TV or Netflix, if you haven’t you should check it out. Joanna Gaines is one of my inspirations. I love her lifestyle, values, and of course her taste in design. I started watching the show about a year and a half ago on Netflix and have been hooked since.

I love that her and Chip can work together as a team. If Wade and I had to film a show together, I’m sure we’d be pulling each others hair out. They are a great duo. She puts the beauty in the design and he is the muscle to make it happen.

They are really an inspiring and down-to-earth couple. I’m glad to see that fame hasn’t gone to their heads like some other design stars…. I also like the fact that Joanna uses repurposed pieces in her designs and thrifts to find vintage pieces. Not everything is about a designer price tag and it’s all about what the client wants.

These choices are NOT in any particular order, I love them all!! They all have unique qualities and characteristics! Let me know your favorites! 🙂

1. The 5th Street Story

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What I love: The exterior of this house was SO unique. I love the grey and white paint colors. They give a very clean look to the home. I adore the small kitchen. The light and airy feel makes it seem bigger than it is. Even small kitchens can have the luxury of an island! I love the dark wood furniture in the dining room and the flowers placed in the center of the table. The living room has gorgeous windows that let natural light flow in. Last but not least, have you seen that chandelier?! How cool is that!

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-12-the-5th-street-story/

2. The Robinson Farmhouse

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What I love: The exterior of this home is to die for. I can’t get over how gorgeous this porch is. I also have a thing for tall vaulted ceilings with windows. As soon as Chip and Jo introduced this home to the couple, I already had fallen for it. The lighter wood beams give it a homey vibe. I also love how they opened up the dining room in this space. It was once closed off and now it brings so much more light in.

3. Another Episode..

Unfortunately this episode is not on the Magnolia website so there weren’t too many photos to show or the title of this episode. I found a couple online of my absolute favorite dining room.

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What I love: I love the shiplap in this room, it inspired me to put up a wall of it in my dining room. The dining set has a beautiful warm finish. I liked the sconces on the sides of hutch so much ,I bought a couple for my dining room. The chandelier is a show stopper. It is really dramatic and has an antique finish. I was able to find it a few places online and it has a hefty price tag (someday, someday…).

4. The Mt. Rockwood Story

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What I love: I am not usually a fan of ranch style houses, but I really loved the look of this one. I love the wall of dark french doors on the front of the house and the extended porch gives it more dimension. The island in this home is massive. I love the color scheme of the kitchen and the marble countertops.

I’m a huge fan of the french country look so the style was really on point for me. I adore the brick pavers added to the sunroom. I dream of marble counters and brick pavers in my future addition.

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-04-the-mt-rockwood-story/

5. The Dutch Door House

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What I love: First off, I love the pendant lights in the kitchen. I love to see small spaces look just as gorgeous as huge kitchens. You can never go wrong with subway tile. I love the darker grey color chosen for a majority of the home. The dining set looks distressed and I like the round tufted chairs.

I usually don’t care for ceiling fans, but this one really anchors the room together. The mudroom/laundry area is gorgeous. I love that there is so much storage, brick pavers and the grey finish on the built-ins. I have a white mudroom bench and you have to be careful with dirty jackets. Last but not least, this repurposed bathroom vanity is AMAZING! Seriously, I think its better than any custom vanity I’ve ever seen!

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-02-the-dutch-door-house/

6. The Little House On The Prairie

 

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What I love: Not going to lie, I was nervous if I would like this episode. The homeowners said that they like the “natural wood look” so that signaled: no white shiplap. I am not a fan of the “cabin look”, but the episode surprised me. I loved the natural wood in this home and the dark paint color. It’s very different from my usual style. The word that comes to my head when I see this home is “warehouse”. I’m obsessed with the character. I love the brick fireplace standing in the middle of the room and the arch that Chip built. I am glad to see there is some love for arch ways. Our home has many of them and I really wanted to straighten them out, until Joanna brought out the beauty in them.

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-01-the-little-house-on-the-prairie/

7. The 3 Little Pigs House

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What I love: I love the raw wood incorporated in areas of this fixer. This office is a DREAM. I need to figure out where the chandelier is from. The light colors, shiplap, and warm tones are just my style! I love how the light floods into the dining room and the slipcovered chairs are an elegant touch! I am a huge fan of exposed brick and built ins!

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-12-3-little-pigs-house/

8. House In The Woods

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What I love: This house has a lot of characteristics I like. I love the design of the sliding doors, the accent wall in the bedroom, ceiling of the breakfast nook, and the glass doors in the kitchen. This bathroom may be the prettiest in the entire world. Some day, I will have a bathroom as gorgeous as this one!!

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-03-the-house-in-the-woods/

9. The Straight 80’s House

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What I love: I LOVE the exterior of this house!! I love the contrast and the unique architecture of it. The living room has a ton of natural light and the most amazing built in I have ever seen. Those antique doors are the icing on the cake. The wood tones in this home against the grey are PERFECT!

I am a huge fan of the grey glass tiles with white grout. I love white, but it’s good to break it up sometimes. The chandelier in the eat in area is one of my favorites. (I would really like to find where they got it from) The ceiling fan in the play room is incredible as well.

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-08-the-straight-80s-house/

10. The Big Country House

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What I love: I love the open space of this home and the wall of French doors. I think the black accents make it very classy and elegant. I also think the backyard would be amazing for entertaining!

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-04-big-country-house/

11. The 15th Street Story

Wait!!!!!!!! I thought it was the top 10!? Honestly, how can you only have 10 Fixer Upper Favorites???

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What I love: This house was nicknamed the beast and the dump..either way it was a pile at first. This was one of the biggest home transformations for Chip and Jo. I liked the look of the home better on TV rather than these pictures, but it’s still gorgeous. I love the tall ceilings, black accents, slipcovered sofas, and subway tiles.

https://magnoliamarket.com/our-show/episode-05-the-15th-street-story/

These were my favorite fixers overall, but to narrow it down…..

Favorite Exterior:

Favorite Living Room:

Favorite Dining Room:

Favorite Bathroom:

Favorite Kitchen:

Favorite Laundry:

Favorite Office:

Favorite Bedroom:

My Favorite Fixer Overall:

The Straight 80’s House

I hope Chip and Jo continue to do this for many more years! They have such amazing talent and give so much inspiration. As much as we’d love them to venture out of Texas, they’re family is much too important to move around. This is one reason why we love them so much though, their values.

What’s your favorite fixer?!

Decor Planning

Hello friends! I think now is a good time to talk about planning for décor and design. I have a habit of walking into stores and finding things that I like and impulsively buying them. I get home and try to find a spot for my new gem. This process work sometimes, but others I end up returning the product. Planning out your design can save you from spending extra money.

We are currently piecing back together a bedroom upstairs. It has been gut out, new insulation has been put in, and the drywall is coming together. I’ve had people ask what we are doing with this room. Well, at first I was going to just shiplap over the old drywall. The plaster wasn’t in very good condition and there were layers of wallpaper to remove. My stepdad brought up the idea of renovating it. I think it was a good call because it will definitely benefit us in the long run.

This project has taken much more time than anticipated, but it is getting closer. I have decided to turn this room into my personal office. Since this is my space, I can do absolutely anything I want to it. I have a clean slate to let my imagination run wild.

Instead of randomly choosing décor through trial and error, I have decided to make a storyboard. A storyboard consists of the décor, furniture, paint colors, and fabrics you plan to use.

I like the idea of a storyboard because you are placing everything in one space to see how well they go together. I did mine on Microsoft Word. There are several things you should do when planning your space. Whether you are remodeling or redecorating these tips should help!

Take Measurements

This step is totally up to you, but it could be pretty helpful. Take a piece of graph paper and draw your room to scale. You will be researching different looks and products throughout this process. It will save you time if you have the measurements of your room already written down.

Make sure to write down windows and door ways so you don’t cover them or have a door not swing open enough. You may also want to mark where you have vents and plug ins so you can keep those areas available to use. Whether you are buying flooring, adding furniture, or just adding décor this will allow you to see how items will fit in the space.

Research: Find Inspiration and Your Personal Style

You should research to find your personal style before starting your storyboard. Pinterest is a great source for inspiration. I was trying to figure out my taste for an office. There were a variety of different styles from farmhouse, mid century modern, contemporary, and glam. Save all of your pins to a new board on Pinterest (like “Office Inspiration”). This way you can keep this room’s ideas all in one place.

After you have finished looking around (take your time), check out your board. You will probably be able to point out your personal taste by then. For example, my main level is a Farmhouse look, but it’s more french country and coastal mixed together rather than industrial. Magazines are also a great source for inspiration. I find pictures that I like, rip out the page and place them in a binder together.

Choose to Do an Online or Physical Board

You can do a physical board or one on your computer. I chose to do mine on the computer because it was more convenient for me. I plan to do 90% of my shopping online. Many of the items I chose for my board I have already seen in person or trust the picture online. (TIP: Go through the reviews of items if you haven’t seen the item in person and also check if people left pictures)

Most places will have samples available to ship to you. I highly recommend getting samples of paint, fabric, and flooring. I get my paint from Magnolia Market and I get a sample every time I think of trying a new color.  If you are getting samples, a physical board may be best for you. In my situation, I am going to use a paint color I have tried before and fabrics I have used in my home already. Since I don’t need to order any samples, I just save an image of the item and insert it into a word document.

Where Do I Start?

This may not be the case for everyone, but I focus on color first. Remember the feel you want for the room and start by looking at the pictures you saved. The Farmhouse look generally contains neutral tones and mid century modern has a lot of black and gold. Do you want the colors to have warm or cool feeling? Do you like colors that contrast? I would start by looking at the big picture. I would pick out your paint and flooring first. The paint you can change real easy if you don’t like it, but flooring isn’t quite that easy.

When I was figuring out my main level of my home I went through this process. I have always loved dark hardwoods, they’re classic. As I was through my Pinterest boards I found that I actually loved rooms with lighter flooring.I love neutral paint on the walls as well, so I found that I’m not a huge fan of contrast (in the living areas). I was able to decide on my flooring and wall color from this observation.

After you have decided your paint color and flooring, you can add accent colors and patterns. The nice thing about samples is you can see if they will look good against each other. It’s a good to add in different patterns and textures to the space. Accent colors helps catch attention to different areas.

Make a List of Essential Products

This depends on the room you chose to work with. For my office I needed: Light fixture, flooring, desk, area rug, and office supplies. A list like this helps keep you on task of the essentials of the room. From this point you can find the exact products to match your choice of style.

Create a Budget

A budget really helps keep you under control. If you are doing a remodel, you should have a budget started for labor and materials. You know all of the products needed, so now you can pay attention to how much they cost. Don’t underestimate the cost of your items.

Paint generally costs around $50 a gallon (figure out how many gallons you’ll need before creating your budget). Flooring can cost 1.00 a square foot for some laminates or $6.00 a square foot for some hardwoods. Backsplash can cost $20 a square foot. Good thing you wrote down your measurements to make this process easier! Round up on your budget instead of rounding down. You can also put a little extra in for a contingency.

Shop Around For the Essentials

At this point you know your area to work with, the color scheme, feel of the room, and the essential products you need. You should start with these essential products from your list. For example, the first product I looked for was a desk. From the pictures I saved, I noticed I only saved certain kinds of desks. When I was searching online for them, I filtered the search to that color and style.

Try different websites for different prices. I generally go with Wayfair, because I have had great experience with their customer service, deals on shipping, and quality products. If you plan to go on a shopping trip, take pictures of items that you are debating about.

Add the Essentials to Your Storyboard

Add your chosen essentials to the storyboard. Include your paint color, flooring sample, fabric colors, and photos of products. You will be able to see how they work together in a space. In my word document I inserted pictures of the items to the page. On your physical board you can glue or pin the items to the board. You can see how well the colors go with each other, how the textures feel, the different patterns against each other. The storyboard allows you a sneak peak of your room.

Put the Room Together

After you’ve purchased your necessary items it’s time to get to work. Paint the walls, have flooring installed, put up light fixtures, and then add in the items from your essential list. Once everything is in place you can see where you need to add décor and extra items. Shop around to see what would fit best in the space and fits in your price range. Add those décor items to your story board. Purchase your décor and show off your masterpiece.

Compare Your Budget

At the end of this process you should compare your budget to what you actually spent. You can celebrate if you spent less or learn from your mistakes. I like to keep these comparisons for any kind of budget I do. They help me stay motivated to save money and be creative with my styling.

I hope I helped some of you learn how to plan out your next project!

 

Valentines Day Decor 2017

This year I decided to do a little decorating for Valentines Day. I haven’t decorated for this holiday before because I often feel the décor can be a bit cheesy for my taste. I started following more people on Instagram. I found that there are many ways to accomplish the look without being gaudy.

I am on a tight budget because my job has cut back hours. I am also in the process of finding a replacement full-time job so that doesn’t leave room for extra spending. I purchased items for this holiday that will be able to mesh with spring/early summer décor. This will save me money in the future months to come (hopefully I will have better income by then).

I only decorated one room for this holiday. For my buffet table, the only décor I bought for the occasion was the flowers. I already had the sign, greenery, and vases.  The sign is about love and I’m pretty sure that is what Valentines Day is about. I chose pink flowers rather than red because I feel red would’ve been a bit too vibrant. I wanted to keep things soft. I love how the vases reflect light and how they give the room a glam touch.

 

Along with the buffet table, I decorated my dining table. The only items I purchased for this occasion here was the flower and runner. I used candles and a jar that I had stored away. I have seen so many pretty tables on Pinterest and Instagram, but unfortunately I have that annoying budget. I did what I could here. I think the candles give it a romantic feel. The pink flowers accent with the table runner. Pink is also my favorite color so I was pretty excited to have an excuse to use it.

 

I have been one to stay away from color in my decorating, but the pink accents have inspired me. Maybe a little color isn’t so bad? I plan to reveal another project in a few weeks. I’m challenging myself to use more color for this new room and will be a bit more glam (hope you don’t mind). I’m excited to have more to show you all! Have a wonderful Valentines Day!


Valentines Day; Who Needs Gifts?

 

Valentines Day is rolling around the corner once again. You can tell it’s creeping up when you hear the diamond advertisements on the radio and feel the giant teddy bears staring you down at Walmart. Wade and I have been going out for over four years now. Theses types of “holidays” have taught me a lot about him, myself, but mostly about US.

I used to be an overbearing gift giver for valentines day. I thought I was being cute when I made a book of “100 Things I Love About You” and 20 pictures frames of us together. Janelle get it together, he’s a GUY.. I eventually came to my senses and grabbed him a 12 pack Budlight instead.

 

Wade is a farmer, truck driver, bin cleaner, and about a million other things. He’s a busy guy. When dating a man that likes to work, you begin to understand that you don’t always come first. He isn’t the type to get me spontaneous and extravagant gifts. He isn’t going to plan a weekend getaway or a surprise dinner at a fancy restaurant.

For example, my birthday lands in late September which is generally when harvest begins. If they are in the field, my only luck of having a night about me is if it downpours rain. At the start of our relationship this was a hard concept to grasp. I come from a family that has scheduled hours at work. They have paid vacations and weekends off.

That’s not how it works around here. Wade is lucky if he gets a single day off a week, but I think he wouldn’t have it any other way. The only guaranteed day off a year is Christmas. You get the picture, he’s a workaholic.

He isn’t much of a gift giver, but he has tried to make an effort in the past. One year he bought me a giant teddy bear the night before Valentines Day. This was our first year of being together therefor I was a little pissed when he said “Yeah, I got it for you last night!” Like really…no more thought into it? It’s like a spur of the moment gift that you get your niece at the local dollar store right before the birthday party. I loved the teddy, don’t get me wrong..(admit it, you wanted one of those suckers at one point) but how could he not put more thought into this?!

Wow I was an idiot (and possibly a tad bit crazy) back then. At least he got me something… when working 24/7 how does one have the time to think about gifts? When do you get the opportunity to go out and buy something? I was a bit childish/selfish yet at 17 and should have realized what was really important.

He got me roses and wrote me a love letter the next year. It’s the thought that counts. He started writing the letter the minute he got my “I’m on my way!” text. He doesn’t get me a gift every year. Some years he doesn’t get around to the store or he just flat out forgot about it. I never question it’s because he doesn’t love me. He tells me everyday that he does.

It’s about loving that person every day of the year, not just that one day. I’m not going to lie, jealousy has kicked in when other women would flaunt their bouquets and diamond earrings. I just remind myself that I am lucky to be in such a great relationship. A gift won’t change that. A gift won’t magically make my relationship perfect because I’m getting special attention that day and he spent a bunch of money on me.

A great relationship is built on the attention spent on each other every single day. The foundation is formed on the communication you have with him after a hard days work and the laughs you share from an embarrassing childhood story. It’s framed together with your trust in each other. When there is a moment of weakness, we are able to forgive and continue to regain strength. The ups and downs make you closer because after you’ve rode out the storm, you can make it through anything.

Your relationship is molded from apologizing after blowing up at each other because the world is crashing down. It is your shelter. They are your shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. They embrace your wings to fly, but are also your anchor when your head is too far in the clouds. Who needs a pair of diamond earrings when they are your home.

A relationship isn’t about getting each other gifts and showing it off a couple times a year. It’s about the love for you have for each other and sharing your life with your best friend. None of us are perfect and we shouldn’t expect our significant other to be.

This Valentines Day I won’t be expecting a special date or chocolate candy. If he decides that wants to get me something, I will appreciate it. I will appreciate he took the time to do something extra special for me, but I will not take our relationship for granted and remember how blessed I am. I am lucky to have someone that truly cares for me. He doesn’t care what I look like when I roll out of bed in the morning or that as soon as I get home from work I change into my PJs. I know that he is my home and my anchor (and accepts my love for sweatpants). He supports me everyday, even when I’m crazy. How could I ever want more than that?

 

 

 

 

Personal Goals 2017

This year has already had its drawbacks. I had my mind set on a budget so I could pay off my auto loan early. I bought the Dave Ramsey books and already had my thousand in my emergency fund. I was able to put $600 extra toward my loan through the first half of January. I was off to a great start.

A few weeks ago I learned that my hours were going to be cut back significantly. My job is going through a location change and financial change. It’s not my employers fault, we are close and have a great relationship. They just needed to take an opportunity to become more successful. This change includes cutbacks though, that includes my hours.

Although I am very understanding about my work situation, I won’t accomplish my goals with my current hours. Here’s something most people don’t know about me: I have anxiety. Change scares the crap out of me. It seems like anytime I get comfortable, life flashes me the middle finger.

Now I have to get out of my comfort zone once again and figure out my place in the world. Something I have found out through many dark times, is that when one door closes another opens. This situation completely sucks and it has me in a rut. I have a feeling better days are yet to come, but I have to get the confidence to take the next step.

My goals this year totally depend on my job situation, but that is my first goal this year. My goal is to get a new fulltime job. After I start making a regular income again, I will continue my progress with making payments on my auto loan. I still plan to pay off my vehicle and college by the end of the year.

My anxiety prevents me from traveling to busy places by myself, being in rooms full of people, and getting out of my bubble. This year I want to take steps with these things. Living with anxiety is extremely difficult and it has prevented me from many opportunities. This year I want to work on it.

I look back on last year, I see how many projects I accomplished. I’m so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone. I never imagined working on my own home and last year I made it possible. I plan on doing more projects this year, but staying on a small budget. I also want to save money for an addition on our home.

I graduated with an associates degree in accounting in December last year. One thing to look forward to this year is no more school. Other than projects and graduating from college, my year was pretty dull. I didn’t have many photos with friends or go anywhere special. This year I want to make it more memorable. I want pictures to look back on and memories to reminisce. This year I hope to change into the person I have been wanting to be and visiting an old self that I miss.

So here’s to a new year and a better life.