Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ellie: The Christmas Tree Climber

Ellie is a tree climber, light breaker and ornament swatter. You can see in the picture how happy she looks to be in the tree. This was the first time I didn't drag her out of it and she eventually hopped down on her own. My tree is crooked, the star at the top is barely hanging on and that's okay. I always say she is practice for when we are someday (hopefully) blessed with children. Although I hope future kiddos won't break lights with their teeth like this little fur ball did! Before I could stop her I heard a crunch and a Christmas light was broken. So after a quick inspection that she didn't have any glass in her mouth (which she absolutely hated) followed by collecting the glass from the floor the bulb was replaced and I could plug the lights back in. 

Maybe someday she will be one of those picture perfect cats that is curled up under the tree looking as snug as a bug in a rug. But for now I have to keep both else on my little Christmas tree climber.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Goals Revisited

Hello everyone!

I thought it would be fun to check in on my goals for 2013 that I made in January (now that 2013 is almost outta here!

Here are a few of my personal goals:
-Play the piano every single day of 2013. Well I didn't quite follow through with this one. I kept up with in until March and then, well life happened. The good news I have definitely been playing the piano more than I was last year. I'm even taking a few steps back to re-learn a few things that I need to work on. Hopefully this will allow me to improve leaps and bounds in 2014.
-At the end of 2013 love every single item in my wardrobe. Just this morning I was looking at the clothes in my closet and told my husband there is nothing in there I wanted to wear. I need to hire a fashion consultant because even the clothes that I do have don't fit properly. My goal is to have a small wardrobe full of pieces that fit properly and work well together so that I can mix and match for multiple outfit choices. And I will get there... someday. 
-Look presentable always. When I started this year I had a bob which I think was more upkeep for me that the longer-ish hair that I have now. I like that I can put my hair in a low ponytail and instantly look polished. I have also got a makeup routine down that takes less that three minutes and gets me out the door on time.
-Learn to sew. I made curtains! I definitely want to bust out the sewing machine more (I want to learn how to tailor my own clothes: see goal number two) but I am glad that learned how to work the sewing machine and actually made something useful this year.

My hubby and I also set some goals as a couple:
-Save money. We are working on this and I think we've developed some good habits to keep this going into next year. I will write more on how to make saving money a habit in another post.
-Go somewhere new. I WENT TO DISNEY WORLD! Although my husband had been there before we did try some new restaurants/rides/shops so he said this counted for him as well. This was by far the best goal :)
-Paint at least one room in our house. Well I have some paint samples squares painted in the kitchen and I know what color I want in there, I just haven't actually painted it yet. I'm hoping to knock this out when I have some time off around Christmas but it might have to wait till next year. We will just have to see. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Few Changes

Hello everyone I wanted to let you know that I'm now blogging with my sister over at Noelle Austin

Have no fear, I will still be writing here (because I like to write) but the posts here will be less pin-worthy and more text only as this will become a place for me just to share my thoughts and have fun.

If you are looking for house updates, crafts and other neat things you can find me over at www.noelleaustin.com along with some awesome posts written by my sister :)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vet Visits, Giant Leaves and Teacups! Oh My!

What a weekend! This weekend Ellie had her annual vet visit. Everything is looking good with her except we have to scale back on the cat food, lucky girl has some extra fluff. But while we were at the vet everyone kept saying "she's such a beautiful cat" and I kept saying "thank you" because it's clear she takes after her mama right?

 I'm sure they say all the cats are beautiful...

On a different note fall has put on a beautiful display the past couple of weeks so I thought we should capture it with a few pictures.

 Honey, take my picture with this giant leaf!
 I'm not sure what face to make...
 Clearly, this is the perfect one!
 Talking... no surprise there
 Did you get a good picture?
 Are we done yet?!

Okay so the pictures didn't really capture "fall" but they did make me laugh :)

And lastly my dad made me some teacup candles! My dad is a candle maker and when I came across a few chipped teacups I asked him to turn them into candles for me. He picked some great scents for fall. This one is vanilla and the other one (not pictured) is cinnamon :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some Halloween Spirit

I don't do haunted houses.

But, I did just see this video on Facebook where two of the employee's of the Ellen show go through a hunted house and it. is. hilarious. So haunted houses for me? Definitely not. Although watching videos of other people going through haunted house just might become a new October tradition.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Drawer of Gladness

Did you know that  happiness comes from Home Goods in the form of a $15 drawer organizer? I sure didn't but it is a lesson I learned real quick. 

Ok let me give you the breakdown. My kitchen has exactly two drawers. Yes, just two but one of them is MASSIVE. I mean it's the biggest drawer I've ever seen. Therefore of all of my kitchen gadgets were in that one massive drawer along with all of my flatware. Here is what it looked like for way too long. 

Isn't it just lovely (that's sarcasm there for those who didn't catch my drift.) But, I recently brought home the MOST AMAZING DRAWER ORGANIZER EVER from Home Goods and now my massive drawer looks like this.

My heart is filled with gladness every time I open that drawer and see exactly what I need without having to dig through all the junk useful tools. I did relocate and purge a few things, which helped a lot. But having an organizer where the big forks and little forks get their own spaces and don't have to share anymore feels like such bliss. The extra big spaces on the side are adjustable so I can customize it if I want to switch things up in the future. Am I going overboard about an organized drawer? Maybe, but it's the little things in life people. The little things.

P.S. What do you think of my new blog design? My talented sister Alex has been working on it. I think it looks fantastic :)

P.P.S In case you were wondering my completely awesome drawer organizer is made by Madesmart.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sharing the Big News!

On Friday my sister announced some big news! She is having a baby! This little one will make me an aunt for the first time and I am so thrilled for Alex and her husband. She is ten weeks along and is due in May :)

Also some fun facts I discovered while searching for a picture for this post. 

In the last six months I have taken exactly zero pictures of my brother-in-law and obviously no pictures of the lovely couple together.

I only have a few recent pictures of either of my sisters. The ones I have of Alex are these gems.

Yes, they are all from the same day and it's clear I have mad photography skillzzz.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Disney on Budget

Obviously with a blog name of "Inspired by Numbers" it can be assumed that I like numbers. I did a lot of number crunching when it came out planning our vacation and I'm here to share what worked for us to make the trip more affordable.

First up, we drove instead of flying. Plan tickets would have cost us about around $400 to $600 for the two of us to fly. Gas for our car cost us about $250. We did stop and stay at a hotel on the way there but on the way home we made the fifteen hour drive non-stop. While food poisoning was getting the best of me I told myself that we should have flown. But, I think my reasoning for that statement is that I just wanted to be there because nobody likes to travel while their sick. And a two-ish hour plane ride would definitely make me get there faster then a fifteen hour car ride. I say car ride because my hubby did all the driving and I was just along for the ride. Yes he is superman :)

Another way we saved money is that we didn't do the dining plan. Before I go any further let me say that the dining plan can save you a ton of money but for us, it would have ended up costing us more. We originally signed up for the dining plan but after talking with some Disney loving friends they suggested that I check out http://allears.net/ where they have menus for all of the restaurants including all of the prices. After that research I realized that we probably would not get our money's worth out of the dining plan based on our eating habits.

What we did do was the rapid fill cups at our resort. I only drink water so I didn't get one but we got one cup for my hubby for $20 and he could use the beverage station at our resort for our whole stay. They had pop, coffee, tea, hot chocolate. They even have sinks right there at the beverage station for you to rinse your cup out before you fill it up with another drink. This worked out really well for him.

Speaking of food, I brought some food with us. Nothing grand or extravagant but some granola bars, boxes of raisins, fruit snacks and some bottled water. We took two bottles of water to the park everyday which lessened the amount of drinks we were buying there. The snacks were great for the car trip as well as munching on it the hotel room after we got back from the parks.

Obviously there are some places where we could have saved some more but you can't win them all right? We had an absolute blast and I even told my husband today "I would rather be at Magic Kingdom" so this trip hopefully marks the beginning of many Disney vacations. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Went to Disney World!

Remember when I said some exciting stuff was going on? Well one of those exciting things was going on vacation to Disney World.

It was our first vacation just the two of us since our honeymoon. And our honeymoon was actually a mini-moon so it was really nice to have a full week to relax and enjoy vacation. Plus this was my first time to Disney so I was really special for me.

 Rapunzel's tower at Magic Kingdom
 Me and my Prince Charming in front of Cinderella's Castle. (I'm a little cheesy, I know)
 The back of Cinderella's Castle. I like to take pictures of famous things from an angle that is not quite a popular. I also have a picture of the back of the Statue of Liberty from a trip to New York City.
 The Epcot ball aka Spaceship Earth.
 The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom
Magic Kingdom again for our last day of vacation.

First off let me say that I had an absolute blast and I love Disney. We will definitely be going back! But like all good adventures we had some ups and downs. On the way there I got food poisoning and I had twenty four hours of kidney stone pain. Thankfully we were stopped at a hotel when this happened but it made for a very anxiety-inducing five hour car journey when we had to continue our drive. But that was the only downside of the whole trip.

We went to all four of the theme parks (no water parks) Magic Kingdom was definitely my favorite. When I saw Cinderella's Castle the first time; I cried. And I'm not even embarrassed by that. I had planned this trip for so long and when I was sick on the way there I wasn't sure if we were ever going to actually get there. Seeing the castle brought a lot of feelings from childhood back and I just teared up. I can't wait to go again someday!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Little Break

There are some exciting things going on right now. Although at this very moment I'm waiting for the dryer to finish so that I can pull the warm clothes out and lay them flat so I don't have to iron them. So "right now" isn't actually that exciting. BUT all of this is to say that I will be back to my regularly scheduled Monday Wednesday and Friday blogging schedule on Monday October 7th.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming fall, Christmas and winter seasons and writing about it here on the blog  :) See you on the seventh!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Things And A Birdhouse

Sometimes I get frustrated and I wish I could do all the updates to my house at once. But it's in those moments that I have to remind myself of how lucky I am. The picture above is of a painting by my grandpa with books from my husbands grandma and the little bird house I bought at a craft show for $15. All of this is on top of my piano, which I am so blessed and lucky to have.

I have to remember it's these things that matter. Family, friends, and filling your home with things you love; even if that last part takes awhile.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Favorite Personal Finance Books

If you hang around with me for more than two minutes you'll discover I like books and personal finance. Which means I really like books about personal finance.

I only have two books pictured here but I actually have three favorites. I don't own the third one (hence no picture) I read it from the library a few years ago.

First up, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I think anyone could follow this plan and achieve success. I love how simple and straight forward it is, which makes it easier to understand for everyone. Even if you don't follow his plan 100% (for example baby step one of a $1,000 emergency fund just seems like not enough money to me; so personally I'd prefer to save a little more,) you can still find lots of success. I also love listening to his radio show and that he is always consistent with his answers.

Second is The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. I like how this book explains that if you set yourself up to save (and the book tells you to do it by automatic drafts into savings accounts) how you can become a millionaire. This book also talks about how debt won't make you rich and to be rich you should live below your means and save and invest your money.

Thirdly is American's Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. This book taught me practical ways of keeping track of my money and showed me that I could reach any financial goal no matter my income with intentional spending so that I am not wasting my money. This book was also very easy to read and had lots of useful tips.

Do you have any favorite personal finance books?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday!

Welcome to Friday! Like always I'm here to share five high lights from this week.

 1. Football is back! I love watching the Colts and the Manning brothers play football.
 2. This is what happens when you're sneaking crackers and chocolate chips from the cabinet,  the cat goes "exploring" (And yes we still have Peeps, my husbands sweet tooth is not as big as mine and he hasn't eaten them yet. Actually I should probably just throw them away.)
 3. We used our grill for the first time. We just made hotdogs for the maiden voyage but they were yummy. Next up, burgers on the grill. I love me a good hamburger.
4. They are doing road work and when they tore up the road the exposed some of the brick underneath. It's fun to imagine what my cute little historic town used to look like.

5. I had an impromptu day with my mom. What could have been a really bad day, turned out to be lots of fun. I'm thankful that she's doing well and we got to spend some time together.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

A Little Bit Of Fall

Happy Monday!

This weekend I was excited to decorate for fall but when I got out my decorations I realized I don't have all the many. But I am happy for the seasonal spirit the decorations I do have bring to our home.

These little pumpkins are from the dollar store a few years ago and the table runner I got for $7 at a craft show. It's a little country but I like the colors. Plus if I get tired of it I can flip it over to the solid deep green color that is on the back. It totally clashes with the fabric on my chair seats but oh well.

 Three little pumpkins sitting in a row.

 I also hung this little wreath on a door off the kitchen. A few years I had a craft day with some friends and we made these out of materials all from the dollar store. It was a fun project, I should do stuff like that more often. I picked the wreath hanger up at the dollar store too, maybe I'll have to make a few more wreaths for different seasons and switch them out.

Are you decorating for fall? Do you go all out or just little touches here and there? 

The other thing I'm excited about for fall is baking. I haven't been in the kitchen much this summer so I am looking forward to making some yummy treats this fall.

Friday, September 6, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Lauren to share my five favorite things from this week.

1. The hubby and I went to this Ohio State game on Saturday. I love football but I also love the marching band. I wish they would show the half time show on TV! Go Bucks!

2. My sister threw a lovely house warming party. She asked me to doodle on the craft paper table "cloth" and I snapped this picture mid-doodle which is why not all the food is out yet. It was fun to catch up with family and friends.

3. I won a $15 Subways gift card. Which would make for three meals if I go myself or just one meal if I go with my husband. (Hubby already suggested going out to lunch with it.)

4. My co-worker brought me this huge cinnamon bun just because! I was nice took half of it home for my love but it was yummy and delicious. The perfect way to start fall.

5. Not pictured but a high light from this week was working in our yard like I mentioned yesterday. More yard work will be happening this weekend, but I love watching it transform.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Am Blessed To Have Yard Work

My back aches, my legs are sore and two nights ago I woke up at 2:30 am crying because my arms hurts so bad I couldn’t sleep. Was all this pain worth it? Yes. A million times yes. 

We are redoing the landscaping at our house. Many of our bushes and trees were overgrown or planted in the wrong spot. My husbands parents (who are amazing people) shared their time, energy, tools and wisdom with us to work on this project. We still have more mulch to spread, bushes to plants and grass to mow but I don’t mind all the work involved because this is our home. 

Our Home. We are so blessed to live in this house and taking care of it makes me acknowledge just what a blessing it is. The landscaping is the first major project we’ve taken on and despite the blood, sweat and tears (yes there was all three, and all from me!) I’m excited to finish this project and move onto the next. I love working with my husband, I love making our home our own. I love this house.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

I'm taking today off from blogging to celebrate Labor Day! I've got a lot of yard work on the agenda for today so wish me luck!

Friday, August 30, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome to the weekend!

Before I head off to labor day cookouts and college football games I wanted to share my five favorites from this week.

 1. You know it's going to to be a good day when your mom makes you breakfast that looks like this. I stayed with my parents last weekend to hang out with my little sister. Breakfast was a nice bonus.
 2. An Instagram pic of me enjoying a Sunday drive. I've got to enjoy these sunny days while I can because fall is coming soon!
 3. This was my husbands dresser growing up. Some day our children will use it. I like furniture that can be passed down.
 4. This is what the walls in our spare room look like (the same room where the dresser above lives.) The people who lived her before us have girls. I feel like the pink stripe was a compromise to an all pink room. We need to paint and make this house our own.
5. I got new jeans in the mail! I ordered some skinny jeans for fall so that I could wear them with boots and they came today! I have been told on more than one occasion that I dress too old for my age (am I the only one who hears that?) Skinny jeans make me feel cool even in my black socks :)

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Love for Audiobooks

When was the last time you listened to an audiobook?

Sometimes I feel like people forget about them and how wonderfully convenient they are. This summer I "read" Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and I am currently listening to Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson. Actually, I was sitting in my driveway, in my parked car, when I got home this afternoon just so I could listen for a few more minutes it.

I have learned so much this summer from these books. I probably wouldn't have found the time to actually read these books in print, but because I checked them out from the library on CD it was easy to listen to them in my car. My commute to work is short (thank goodness) so I was surprised how fast I got through some of these books.

I prefer to listen to non-fiction books while driving so because I don't get so absorbed in the story. Last year I started listening to Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and I had the check out the printed book from the library to finish the story one weekend. It was that fantastic. Although when I'm listening to a non-fiction book I will sometimes check the printed book out of the library just to look sometimes up when I get back home.

Do you like to listen to audiobooks?

Monday, August 26, 2013

So You Want to Start a Book Club?

Yes, yes I do want to start a book club, and I am!

I have been thinking of starting a book club for a few months but I wanted something that was low to no commitment for my friends and gave everyone some options about what books they were reading. Life is too short to read books that you're not interested in. So this is what I came up with.

A get together at my house every three months and a choice of reading two books over those three months. That way everyone has the option of reading one, none or both of the books. Hopefully this schedule will be flexible for most of my friends and hosting isn't a huge commitment either since it's only four times per year.

So far I've had some great feedback from the women I've invited and I thought I would share what books we are reading with you. Our book club will get together in November and we are reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen and The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I've read The Girl Who Chased the Moon before but I picked it for the book group because I wanted to make sure I knew at least one of the books was really good; although I have heard nothing but good things about The House at Riverton as well. I gushed about how much I love all of Sarah Addison Allen's books here.

I think it's important to be intentional about your friendships if you want to keep them. I've also let everyone in the group know that they are more than welcome to bring their friends, roommates, sisters, coworkers, etc.. Hopefully the books will be good common topics of conversation for everyone.

Have you read either one of these books? Are you in a book club?

Friday, August 23, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone!

I'm linking up with Lauren to share five things that made me smile this week.

 1. The Google Doodle played my favorite song, Clair de Lune in honor of Debussy's birthday. It was definitely a nice surprise.
 2. I love reading in the morning (I've mentioned that before) but I espically like reading encouraing words to start my day. This is from One Year to an Organized Financial Life  by Regina Leeds and Russell Wild.
3. Have you tried these Bunny Grahams from Annie's Home Grown? They are fantastic. I love discovering new snacks.

4. This week my husband and I got to have lunch with his parents on Sunday and then dinner with my parents on Wednesday. I love seeing family and catching up with them.

5. I had this afternoon off! I love my job, but I also love have a free Friday afternoon :)

How was your week?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Plans for the Half Bath

On Monday I shared my whole house color scheme. Today I'm back with some plans for our half bath.

These are the pieces I have for the bathroom so far.

The light fixture is in the middle of a makeover (obviously) and the mirror we've had for awhile. The faucet is an oil rubbed bronze color which I think will look nice with the light fixture. I'm thinking of getting cabinet hardware reminiscent of antique glass knobs; maybe something like this

I think the walls would look great in the Moody Blue color for Sherwin Williams it's the color in the top left corner.
And for the icing in the cake I'm thinking of doing either horizontal stripes in alternating between glossy and flat paint or stenciling stars on the wall in a translucent metallic silvery-bronze color. The idea of the stars came from here. The lighting in the half bath is not great so I think adding a little shimmer on the walls will up the drama factor. Plus since it's such a tiny room it's not as big of a  commitment when it comes to stenciling. Hopefully the crawl hands that are the results of a long day stenciling will be kept to a minimum. Right now I'm leaning towards the stars but I haven't made up my mind yet.

Have a happy Wednesday everyone!