Blog Break

Hi!  I wanted to apologise for my absence these past few days.  I also wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be taking a little blog break for a bit.  I'm not sure how long.  It couldn't be anywhere between a couple of weeks to a month or two.  I've decided that I spend entirely too much time on the computer, and I just need to get away from it for a while.  Consider it a challenge.  As much time as I spend on the computer, it's definitely going to be challenging.  I'll probably use the time to catch up on some reading and to enjoy a few movies as well as spend more time outside.  My patio is lonely.  I'm also going to get off my bum and start P90X.  I tried it once before, and I quit after about 3 weeks.  I want to focus on bettering myself both physically and mentally...and that means I'm going to have to make some excessive Internet usage is at the top of the list. 
Another reason that I am going to take a break is that I'm feeling a little bit of the 'burn-out bug' and I don't want my blog content to suffer because of it.  Hopefully the time off will fill me with all sorts of wonderful stuff to share when I get back :)  I'll still be checking my mail a couple of times a week, so if you'd like to contact me feel free!  I hope you're all having a fantastic summer!

Photo Flashback: August 2010-2011

In August 2010 I shaved my head!  It's something I had always wanted to do and I LOVED it!  It's definitely the most stress free haircut I've ever had.  And with this heat...I'm really really missing it!

A Sketch of Ted Bundy I did in 2010.  I almost never sketch anymore and I think this is actually the last piece I did.  I need to start it up again and build myself up to what I was capable of in High School.  I don't know why I stopped, but it makes me sad that I did.  Maybe I'll apply myself and start a new sketch feature? 

I went a little ring-happy last August and made a whole bunch of cute rings.  I don't wear jewelry very often, but I do wear these every now and then. 
If you missed all the excitement of Photo Flashback in July, you can see it here!

Changes in August

I apologize for missing Mani-Monday yesterday.  I had a mini breakdown this weekend and came to the conclusion that I need to give myself a break.  This doesn't mean the end of nail polish posts here on Miss Darlingheart, but it does mean that I probably won't be doing them every week.  I wasn't at my apartment over the weekend and I got into a funk when I realised that I didn't have any of my nail polish with me.  I got upset with myself for not doing it during the middle of the week when I had plenty of time.  I then told myself that it's not something I should beat myself up over.  I want this blog to be a place where I can relax and be happy.  I work full time and when I get home..I usually head straight for the computer to work on a post or something blog related...and sometimes I don't leave the computer until bedtime.  The thought of that makes me miserable.  I need to spend more time away from the computer doing things that I've been neglecting.  I'm still going to do nail polish posts, because I love painting my nails and trying different color/pattern combos. 
Frugal Friday is another feature that has been a little bit rough on me too.  The posts I've done so far have helped me a lot when it comes to saving money, but I don't want it to become a source of frustration for me either.
I'm going to take a week off from blogging to give myself time to develop a new schedule for myself.  Hopefully I'll come back fully charged with new ideas and something that will please not only me, but you as well.
I hope you're all having a great week!

FF #4

I don't wanna sound like a total movie snob right now...but I'm the biggest movie buff/nerd that I know.  I love movies!  I can not get enough!  I can't think of anything I love more at the moment than the idea of just lounging around in my pajamas for a day of watching movies.  Paradise.
My love of movies has prompted me to be not-so-frugal and buy lots and lots of them.  I have an ever growing collection that (to me) never seems big enough.  I've been holding myself back for the past month or two though and haven't purchased any new movies (even though there are at least 4-6 out right now that I desperately want to ad to my collection-it's so frustrating!).  So today I thought it would be appropriate to share a few tips on how I keep my movie-hunger sated. 

1. Netflix.  I personally don't care that the prices went up a while back.  Even after they went was still super cheap.  If you don't watch a lot of movies, I can see where paying a monthly fee for Netflix wouldn't be worth it.  But for people like me who watch movies almost daily (ok maybe a wee bit less..but not much)'s totally awesome!  AND Matthew and I share an account so it's practically free for me right now anyways.  When I was a kid, my dad took us to the video store every weekend and let us each pick one movie.  He spent more in one weekend of rentals than it costs for one month of Netflix (maybe even two).  That's a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

2. Amazon.  This one isn't free, but it's pretty darn cheap.  Amazon now has a wonderful little feature: Instant Watch.  It costs around 3 bucks on average to rent an 'instant-watch' film.  If you're dieing to watch something in particular and you couldn't find it on Netflix, your best shot is going to be Amazon.  They even have a few that aren't even in theaters yet!  I was browsing through there the other day and found out I could see The Good Doctor (go watch the trailer!) for $10.  I know that's a bit steep, but it's just an example.  Amazons selection is fantastic!

3. Pre-Owned.  There is a little used video store not far from me called The Movie Trading Co.  The selection is insane and the prices are even crazier.  I haven't been in a while because I AM trying to save money, but if there is a movie you MUST have for your collection, try finding a place that sells them used!  I've never had a problem with them not working or the boxes being scratched up. 
4. Movie Swap.  Call up a few of your friends and get together to trade movies.  Watch them together or take them home with you.  Either way you're getting to see something new and so are your friends :)

5. Discount tickets.  Matthew and I love movie dates.  It's sort of our thing.  To save on going to the movies we almost always go to the matinee showings.  The crowds are smaller and the tickets are much cheaper.  I haven't been to a dollar theater in a long time, but when I lived in Waco, Tuesdays were my solo-movie days.  I took myself to see a movie every Tuesday because it was only 50 cents.  I got to have my me time and see a movie too.  It was great :)

These are my main thrifty movie moves.  If you're a movie lover like myself, I hope you can appreciate these tips.  What are your favorite ways to save on movies?

Looking Back: July 2012

Mani Monday
I'm so proud of myself for staying on top of this and having my nails different every week!  I think my favorites were the ones I did for the beach.  You can see all of my Mani Monday posts here!

Hiking Adventures and Snapshots
I'm so happy that Matthew and I have adopted Sunday as our weekly hike day.  We've found the perfect little trail and I'm in love with all of the little goodies I've found each time!  You can see all of the hiking snapshots from our last two trips here and here!

Frugal Friday
I've always been one of those people that lives paycheck to paycheck and finds "saving money" to be one of the most difficult tasks EVER.  I WAS terrible at it, but I've been doing so well this past month.  I can't believe how much I was able to save.  Not only was I able to put lots into my savings, but every pay day I still had leftovers in my checking account too (which never happens for me).
  1. Five Ways To Enjoy This Weekend For Free!
  2. Simple Ways To Grow Your Savings!
  3. Treating Yourself To Something Nice!
Rockport Vacation
I can't keep thinking about how much fun I had in Rockport and how I want to live there now.  It was perfect!  It's such a quiet pretty little place.  And for a nature love like myself, it's a dream!  I loved so many of the photos (and took so many!) that I split them up into three posts.  Part I, Part II, and Part III.

BONUS: Film Love!!!
Shame.  Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.  "In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister Sissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay."-IMDB
Steve McQueen rose to the top of my favorite film directors list after I saw Hunger (which also stars Fassbender) and I was so excited to finally see this film.  It's gritty, heart renching, and beautiful all in one.  I don't understand why this movie was an "Oscar Snub" as it is clearly deserving of recognition.  It did receive many nomonations and wins outside of the Oscar Awards though so I'm happy for that.  A fantastic film no doubt.
Steve McQueen is currently working on a film titled Twelve Years A Slave which, again, stars Michael Fassbender (AND Benedict Cumberbatch-yay!!!).   

Rockport: Part 3

Okay it's finally here!  The third and final installment of my three part series about my little vacation to Rockport!  The day that we left, Matthew's parents wanted to take us to a local park that has a pond a little ways in where you can feed ducks and turtles.  When they said there were lots of turtles, I wasn't expected there to be LOTS of turtles.  I've never had turtle soup (and wouldn't want to-I love turtles!), but if my imagination ever thought up what it would look would probably look something like the photo a few scrolls down.  There are 19 turtles in that picture alone!  As soon as we started tossing little pieces of bread in, they all just started swimming over.  They even swam right up to me when I got close to the water.  No fear!  The ducks were really sweet too and weren't shy either.  On our way out we saw a lot of squirrels and they would just run up to us.  Unfortunately we were out of bread :(  I can't wait to go back and feed them!  Oh and by the way, the squirrel on the left is totally playing patty cake with his shadow!
I hope you enjoyed all of the photos from my little trip to Rockport!  I hope you get a chance to visit someday-I had such a lovely time!

Mani Monday #7

I loved the white polish from last weeks nail so much that I decided to use it again!  This time I added pretty pink glitter on top :)  I like to imagine there's a bird somewhere that lays eggs that look like this:

I used:
Sally Hansen: Polar Bare
Essie: A Cut Above

FF #3

With this only being the third installment of Frugal Friday, it's probably a wee bit soon to be sharing the "treat yourself" post, but hey-where's the fun in being frugal if you don't reward yourself every now and then?  After taking my own advice this month and 1) having fun on the weekends for free, and 2) finding simple/fun ways to grow my savings, I decided that with my diligence and new-found self-control skills, I've earned myself the luxury of buying something nice.

Matthew and I took ourselves to see The Dark Knight Rises (which was AMAZING!)  And I ordered myself a couple of new books (Matthew, if you're reading this you'll find out what they are soon enough!  It's a surprise!).  None of them are novels this time, but interesting no doubt.  Once I get them in I'll share what they are! 

I'm so proud of myself for sticking to my plan for (almost) a whole month now.  It's amazing how much you can save when you apply yourself.  The little things really do make the biggest difference.  If you were hoping for more frugal tips today, I'm sorry if I let you down!  I look forward to sharing more this coming Friday though!  Have a great weekend and I'll see you Monday for another cute Mani-Monday!

Rockport: Part 2

I've been so excited to share these photos from being at the beach in Rockport!  We found so many pretty shells and one of my favorites was this heart shaped sand dollar piece on the left.  I loved finding heart shaped things in nature!

Stay tuned for part 3!

Mani Monday #6

As it often is the case, I got in a hurry and smudged the polish on at least two of my nails.  I get too impatient sometimes and don't wait long enough for them to dry.  When this happens, I tend to apply a coat of a different color or just do something completely different than the rest.  I wanted to do all of my nails with this pretty new white polish, but I messed up the pinkies and decided to just do them with silver glitter.

I used:
Sally Hanson: Polar Bare
Essie: Set In Stones

FF #2

This week I wanted to share a few simple ways to start growing your savings.  I have consistently been terrible about saving money in the past and I think my two biggest problems have been impulse buying and fast food.  I have to say that I'm very impressed with myself lately for not giving in to impulse buys.  There have been sooo many things I've wanted to buy for the past month, and I just told myself no.  Now that doesn't mean I'm completely depriving myself though, I do still treat myself to something nice every now and then, but not like my usual self.  I've also been packing a lunch for work most days or eating at home when I'm not at work.  That's made a BIG difference.  I'm proud to say that in the last two weeks I've managed to grow my savings from $0.00 to over $200!  I don't know about you, but for me that's a lot.  So for today's Frugal Friday post I thought I'd share a few tips that have been working for me!  Here are the ways I've been saving:

1.  Good old fashioned coin jar.  I have an old glass pickle jar (the jumbo size) that I always toss my change into.  If I've got change in my pockets from being out or if I find change in my bag or car (which I need to do again), then I go ahead and toss it into the old jar.  Before going on our little trip to Rockport, I decided to cash in what I had and to use that as my vacation money.  I only had the jar a quarter of the way full, and I ended up with over $70!  So to fill the jar up completely would give me somewhere around at least $280!  Maybe I'll label it the "tattoo savings" jar!  Every time I fill it up completely I'll schedule myself a tattoo session :)

2.  I saw this floating around Pinterest and thought I'd give it a try: $5 jar.  It works exactly the same way as a coin jar, but instead of coins you just toss in your $5 bills.  Say you go to the movies and buy your ticket or snacks and the change you get back includes a few ones and a five.  Set the five aside and commit to adding it to your $5 bill jar!  I haven't used cash much lately (which I SHOULD do instead of using my card), but so far I've got 15 bucks. 

3.  Round your paycheck to the nearest hundred and put the rest in your savings.  Say your paycheck is 340.  Round that to 300 and toss the 40 into savings.  Maybe I'm easily amused or whatever, but I look forward to every paycheck because I never know how much this part is going to be.

4.  Save 10% of every paycheck.  I do this after I do #3.  It's simple and for me it's typically the same amount every time.

I hope these little tips will help you as much as they've helped me.  Do you have any special ways you like to save?     

Rockport: Part 1

Taking a mini-vacation to Rockport was so much fun and I wish I could have stayed longer.  Matthew's parents have a house down there and it's just 3 blocks from the beach.  There were so many adorable homes there and Matthew and I are talking about making Rockport our home someday.  I took so many photos, but decided to split them up between three posts so that I could share all of my favorites over the next few weeks!  Enjoy!
Sea turtles are so adorable and we got to see a few little guys close to shore! 

If you look closely at the third photo-you'll be able to spot a little crab snuggled down under that little pool of water :)

We got to Rockport late Friday night and woke up the next day for a little fishing and lots of walking along the beach.  I collected so many pretty seashells and can't wait to share them with you in part 2 of this little series! 

Film Love: Moonrise Kingdom

Image Source

I cannot wait for the DVD/BluRay release of Moonrise Kingdom!  Matthew and I went to see it when it first came out, and I can honestly say that it's my favorite film of the year.  It's just one of those that keeps you genuinely happy throughout.  One of the things I kept thinking during the film was that I love the music.  I know I'll be pulling this post up over and over to listen while I'm browsing and I hope it's something you'll enjoy as well!  Happy listening!

Synopsis: A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Francis McDormand, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and others.

Wanna listen to more great music?  Check out my soundtrack post from The Darjeeling Limited!

Mani Monday #5

It's 11:47 on Sunday and I'm soooo tired from the long drive home from Rockport.  I was afraid I wasn't going to have this post ready for Monday, but I made it and I'm really happy to share these with you!  Since we were going to be headed to the beach, I was kind of going for a sharky type theme with gray and red.  They ended up looking like something that should be worn in the fall instead though, but I do really love them; even if they don't remind me of sharks. 

I used:
Essie: Chinchilly
Essie: Russian Roulette
#8 Stickers

FF #1

1.  Beat the heat and enjoy the water!  This summer is proving to be one of the hottest yet and what better way to spend your time than in the water!  Do you live near the beach?  Is there a lake in your town?  Are you lucky enough to live somewhere near a pretty creek or even a swimming hole?  Do you have access to a pool?  Most of these places are absolutely free and when I think about how hot it is outside, I can't think of anything better than cannon balling myself into a big cool body of water.  Don't forget the sunscreen!

2.  Go Hiking!  Do an Internet search for locations near you that are great for hiking and don't cost you anything.  Before moving to Fort Worth I lived in the country and hiking was something I never had to worry about paying for.  All I had to do was step out my front door and go.  Now that I'm an apartment dweller, I've been taking advantage of opportunities to go hiking here in Fort Worth.  If you've been following my blog, you'll know that for the past three weeks, Matthew and I have gone hiking every Sunday.  It's become my favorite day of the week and I look forward to it so much!  I always take a camera along for snapshots of nature and little treasures found along the way.  Make sure to take lots of water, you don't want to end up like me on our first hiking trip!

3. Visit a museum or go to the zoo!  I always enjoy trips to museums, and the zoo is one of my favorite places.  I don't know of any free zoos around here, but they do exist so do a search to see if there's one near you!  There are a couple of great museums here that are free and they're really nice too.  The best things about museums in the summer?  They're air conditioned!  *happy dance*  So if you're looking for something free that keeps you out of the heat (and out of the house), the museum is a great choice!  If you live in the Fort Worth area I recommend the Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum.  The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is excellent and is free every Wednesday and on the first Sunday of every month. 

4.  Enjoy a board game or card game!  Or even better, throw a board game party!!!  Call up a few friends and have them bring over board games and a snack or drinks.  To keep it free just whip up something you already have on hand. 

5.  Kick back and enjoy a good book or movie!  I have accumulated quite the collection of DVDs and books-some of which I haven't read or watched yet.  Although it isn't free, if you already have a Netflix account it will cost you nothing this weekend to pick out a few movies to watch instantly.  And as far as books, make a trip to your local library!

Think back to when you were a kid, what did you do to entertain yourself?  Go for a bike ride, play a video game, take your pooch for a walk around the neighborhood, or do some gardening!  What's your favorite way to spend a weekend when you don't have money to spend?

I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday for another Mani-Monday post!

Frugal Living

I've come to the realization that I spend way too much money on stuff.  What that stuff is I can't even say.  I've definitely fallen into the routine of 'living paycheck to paycheck' and I got a wake up call this week.  I tried paying a bill online and it kept declining so after checking to make sure that my info was entered correctly, I called the bank to see what was going on.  I definitely had money in my account, but she told me that it was inactive and that I'd have to visit a banker to get it taken care of.  So this morning I made a trip to the bank.  Apparently my debit card was deactivated because I had two overdraft charges last week.  Ouch!  I have no excuses so I'm not even going to try to explain myself.  After talking with a banker we got everything set and I'll be receiving a new card in the mail shortly.  He also helped me out by opening up a savings account for me.  Just so you know, I'm the absolute worst when it comes to saving money.  Rotten.  I'm set on changing that and I'm planning on introducing a new feature as  a result:

Frugal Friday will be all about living cheap and having fun.  I'll be including helpful tips on how to save money, lists of fun things to do for free (or next to nothing), and inexpensive meal ideas/recipes.  I'm really looking forward to this feature and I hope it's something that will help not only me, but you as well!  

Hiking Adventure and Snapshots #3

This weeks little hiking trip was soooooooo hot!!!  There wasn't much cloud coverage and the humidity was really high.  My camelpak actually ran out of water before we even got back and I had to bum off of Matthew.  It was still a blast though and I'm so excited about all of the cicada shells I found this time!

We won't be going on our weekly hike this coming Sunday because we're headed to the coast for a mini vacation!  I can't wait to share photos when we get back and I hope I find really neat stuff to share!