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!

Mani Monday #4

After removing the polish from my Fourth of July nails, I noticed that the glitter totally tore them up!  Does this happen to you too?  It's so difficult to remove and it ends up chipping the tops of my nails.  Sooo I decided to go light this week and only color half of my nails.  I used little #2 scalloped stickers (you can find them here) and used a sheer/opalescent pink polish that my grandma gave me a while back.  I left the other half of the nail natural and added a clear coat.  I really do like the way they turned out :)

I used:
L.A. Colors: Pink Pearl
Essie: Good To Go

Photo Flashback: July 2010-2011

I'm so excited to share this months Photo Flashback photos!  I only shared four photos last month and there wasn't too much excitement going on there.  I have quite a bit more to share in this post and you get to learn some exciting things about me!  So here we go:
Considering the extreme summer heat (see photo below), this is definitely out of place.  I learned to crochet hats that month and I just couldn't stop!

The weather this year isn't much different.

Yep-I was a beekeeper.  Notice the word WAS.  Unfortunately, my bees got mixed up with local bees and turned very very aggressive.  My beehive was at my dads house and he couldn't even work in his garden anymore because he was constantly being attacked by multiple bees.  It was pretty bad.  After having the hive for 3 years, we had to destroy it.  Before they got that way, beekeeping was one of my favorite/relaxing hobbies.  I read a book on it a few years back and it was instant love.  I'll never forget the day my package of bees arrived.  The post office was angry, but I was so happy bringing that buzzing package home and introducing those girls to their new home.  I'd love to do it again someday, but it won't be any time soon.

I haven't posted about this little girl yet (I promise I will!), but this is Daisy.  In July of last year my mom called saying that there was a baby skunk laying next to her mother in the road.  The mother had been run over and was dead.  I quickly grabbed a pair of gloves and ran up the road to meet her with a carrier.  The baby didn't put up a fight at all and I wasn't sure if it was shock, dehydration, an injury, or all three.  I did some quick research on the Internet and set up a vet appointment to get her checked out.  I know that a lot of people will disagree with raising a wild animal with the intention of keeping it as a pet.  I happen to be someone who agrees with that statement.  In the case of a skunk who has no chance of survival on her own, I decided that I just couldn't let that happen and made the decision to raise her myself.  Part of that decision was getting her scent gland removed.  Doing this meant that she could never be released into the wild, because she wouldn't have a way of defending herself.  This makes me sad, but at the same time I'm happy that she got a second chance at life.  She happily resides at Matthews house.  She has a very large two story rabbit hutch and a large cyclone fenced area to play in.  She's very happy and healthy and loves people.
So there you have it!  If you missed the Photo Flashback in June you can see it here!

Hiking Adventure and Snapshots #2

This weeks hiking trip was soooo much nicer than last weeks.  It was nice and cloudy, the temp wasn't over 100 degrees this time (it was close though!), and Matthew bought me a camelbak so that I would have plenty of water this time and not have to lug around a water bottle.  It was sooooo great!  I also collected a few goodies that I picked up along the way.

 I can't wait to go again this Sunday!  Sundays are my new favorite day of the week :)  On our first trip, we went on the red trail which proved to be wayyyy to advanced for us, so this time we took the purple and yellow trails and they were wonderful.  I'm really happy with the little goodies I picked up.  I've decided to start collecting Cicada shells.  I've loved them since I was little and they're just so neat!  I also want to start carrying an insect/spider field guide with me so that I can start identifying the ones I see.  Do you collect anything when you go hiking?