Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Debt is such an ugly word. It makes you think of the worst kind of people - low-lifes and bums who buy things they can't afford (and have no intention of paying back) on little plastic cards.
But let's face it. Most of us have it. You probably do. And you, over in the corner, and you sir, walking out of the room. Almost every one of us has debt - be it a mortgage, or student loans or a car loan. And we live in a culture and a country that's up to their eyeballs in debt. There has to be a better way.

Reeve and I have debt of our own - student loans and his car, along with a few other little things. (Thankfully we don't have any credit card debt!) We have always talked about getting out of debt, but we never really put solid efforts toward it. Last year we decided that beginning in January we were going to buckle down and face our debt. Fortunately for us, CenterPointe started a new series this month called "The ABC's of Financial Freedom" based on the book by Barry Cameron. The whole church is following this series and I'm so excited. If you've never read it, pick one up. I promise you'll thank me later.

In his book Barry tells the story of overcoming his own debt and instills in us the oh-so-simple but hardly easy methods of getting out of debt and living in a way that God wants us to in regard to our money. I've been so sucked in that in two days I've devoured four out of seven chapters. I can't wait to finish and read it again and again and again. Here are a few (but certainly not all) of the points he makes in the first three chapters:
  • He insists that our attitude toward money needs to change, and it needs to change now. That your financial situation isn't your greatest hurdle, you are. Like Joyce Meyer says, "Your problem is not your problem. Your attitude about your problem is your problem."
  • He insists on giving God the tithe that belongs to him. No discussion. We've found that in our personal life that when we are faithful to tithe that God is faithful to us.
  • He insists on cutting out all but the necessities in order to get yourself out of debt. That means no new clothes, no new shoes, no eating out, no buying furniture. (You don't need new clothes. I don't care what you say, you don't need them.)
  • Interest is money you spend that goes to line someone else's pocket. Every time you see the word Interest you should immediately think "Someone Else." Let me give you an example. If you buy a car for $14,000 with a 9.75% interest rate, in the end you will pay $21,000 for that car. Ouch.
So as I'm reading this I'm wondering how much money I'm actually spending on fast food and "recreation." So I punched some numbers (Since I work at a bank I'm really good at this.)

  • If I get a medium coke at McDonalds once a week in a year I will have spent $81.64
  • If I get an ice cream cone every day at McDonalds at the end of the year I will have spent $137.80
  • If we go out to eat once a week and don't spend a penny more than $25 then at the end of the year we will have spent $1300.
  • If we go see a movie once a week at the end of the year we will have spent $832

If you total all those expenses you've already spent $2,351.44 on things you don't need - that's money that could be spent on getting out of debt. A bit of a wake-up-call? It was for me.

So this year we are cutting out all the non-necessary elements of our life in order to pay off our debt. We want to pay off the car by the end of the year and finish our school loans in two years. We want to have the financial freedom to give generously and to be able to pack up and move when the Lord says to go to Romania without any ties of debt weighing us down.

Who's with us? Let's get out of this ugly debt together. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store and to be able to blog about the things the Lord has done in our lives now that we are committing to getting out of debt.

Monday, January 23, 2012

According to a recent study by the Daily Mail people who wear glasses have better interviews and have a better chance at getting the job. It sounds crazy but 33% of people surveyed say that glasses make you look more professional. And a whopping 43% think glasses make you look more intelligent. Gone are the days of the four-eyes insults. Suddenly your glasses make you more chic, more professional and even smarter.

So if you already need them, take advantage of this fact and wear them when you need to look smart. So let me tell you about my friends at

They have an amazing selection of glasses, really great prices on contacts and fantastic coupon codes.

Example 1: Here's a link to a picture of the glasses I ordered last week:

Cute right? Originally 68 dollar frames, I got them and my lenses free using the code "firstpairfree" at check out and only paid shipping. (lenses are free up to 1.5x, greater magnitudes are $20.) That comes to a total of $7 for prescription eyeglasses.

Example 2. Here is the pair Reeve got:

Very unique. Frames were originally $38 (free with the firstpairfree code) and lenses were $20. We ordered them with another item so the total came to $25 for Reeve's glasses.

Example 3. Reeve uses Acuvue Oasys contacts which are a whopping $40 a box at our optometrist's office. On coastal they are only $25.89. (And less if you buy 4 boxes.) So with shipping his contacts came to a total of $56.78 (a total of $23.22 saved compared to buying at the optometrist.)

So if you still aren't convinced here are a few coupon codes that might convince you.
RETURN10 - saves you 10% and gives you free shipping.
RETURN - gives you free shipping.
BOGO50 - a current offer that gives you 50% off a pair when you buy a pair.
FREESHIP - free shipping on orders over $100.
FIRSTPAIRFREE - pick from hundreds of eligible frames to get a pair of glasses (up to 1.5x) for free.

What are you waiting for! Go get your free glasses!

I can't wait till mine come in! I'll post photos...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audio Adrenaline

Here we are! Waiting for the Audio Adrenaline concert to start! Front row seats thanks to Chris Lefever! So excited!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ten inches

This week I cut ten inches off my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. I love my new hair cut and I love that I was able to give my unwanted hair to someone who needs it.

Getting a free hair cut is also a great perk.

Information on Locks of Love as taken from their website

"Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.

Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need."

Cool company right? I'm so thankful to be able to give to a good cause.

Check out my cute new hair!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Ever since discovering the blog "Made by Lex" ( on Piterest, fabric has taken on a whole new dimension. Every shirt has a voice, every piece of fabric the potential to be amazing. Now those scraps of fabric in my box that I thought would never have a purpose suddenly have life and meaning.

I've been refurnishing shoes, shirts, headbands and handbags and I'm loving it. Suddenly Goodwill holds so much possibility and now my creativity, not my wallet, defines my wardrobe.
It's a totally new feeling for me and I love it. I love being creative and using my talents to my benefit.

I'm going to a wedding next month and I don't have a winter dress but I do have a dress I can add beads and sleeves to. So I've been scouring the Internet for ideas and I'm suddenly seeing the potential I've had all along. It's a whole new feeling.

The thing I'm most thankful for is the creative spirit given to me by my creator. He is the author of creation and in Him and through Him all things exist. I'm thankful He made me in His image and gave me the ability to create. Thank you Lord. My life is a hallelujah.

"I'm so thankful that I'm incapable of doing any good on my own." -Caedman's Call.

Ps. Check out my ruffled shirt! I'll post a tutorial on it soon!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Recipe: Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

I love this French toast. In fact I love it
So much that I rarely order French toast out anymore. It's so simple and yet so obvious once you've tried it. And it's unbelievably easy.

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

3 eggs
6 slices white or wheat bread
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Milk
Powdered sugar

Preheat a large skillet over medium low heat. In a cake pan whisk eggs, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. (The milk helps the bread absorb the egg.) Whisk until well blended, adding more cinnamon if desired (I like a lot of cinnamon in mine.)

When your pan is hot coat it with 1 Tbsp butter. It should sizzle gently. It it pops your pan is far too hot, reduce heat and wait a few minutes. Dip bread in egg mixture to coat both sides. Place in the pan. Toast should sizzle gently - you're not frying eggs here. If it sounds like it's frying too hot remove the pan from the element, reduce the heat and wait a minute. I usually cook two pieces at a time - don't over-crowd your skillet. After 3-5 minutes turn the toast over and cook slowly until toast is golden brown. IMPORTANT: when the first batch is done, turn down the heat or you will burn your second batch.

Serve with powdered sugar and warm syrup.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as mine does!

Craft: Hand Warmers

I made these years ago but I guess I had forgotten about them until Pinterest reminded me. (See? Joining another social network has in fact been good for me. Just wait until you see my next post about the sweater I made today.)

These hand warmers are are so simple anyone can make them (even if you don't have a sewing machine) and so handy everyone in the house will want their own. They only take about 20 minutes to make (10 if you're skilled with a sewing machine) and they can be given as gifts and used over and over.

A piece of soft Fabric (cotton is my favorite)
A needle

Cut a rectangle of fabric about 3 inches by 6 inches. Fold in half so the pattern is on the inside. Stitch together leaving half of one side open. (If you're using a machine be sure to backstitch on both ends so you don't lose your seam.)

Using a long post it note, create a funnel. Fill bags 3/4 full of rice and hand stitch the opening closed. Microwave for 15 seconds and enjoy the warmth.

My husband likes to put these on the back of his neck after a long day at work. I like to curl up with them on the couch or take them with me in the cold car.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Tiny Jerseys

We usually get my husbands cousin and uncle a bottle of Makers Mark each for Christmas - being from Kentucky and all... But this year their bottles had a little flair - tiny UK jerseys that I sewed and Reeve ironed the letters onto. What do you think?


I haven't blogged in a while so I thought I would share some of my resolutions. My biggest resolution is to pay off a large portion of our student loans. Another one is to blog more. Another is to read more of the #1 New York Times best sellers. And another is to craft more.

I know I have the ability and creativity to craft more but sometimes crafting needs a little nudge. This is where Pinterest comes in. I'm not a member yet (so if you are and want to send an invite to it would be very appreciated!) but I love the crafting community on Pinterest. I love the idea of using old affordable things to make new, attractive things. For example, turning a pair of old shoes into new by covering them in Mod Podge and sequins or glitter. (See my friend Kaitlyns photo which I took from her Facebook page below.) This works with my obsession with Goodwill as well and gives me a more fiscally responsible way of updating my very outdated wardrobe.

That being said, I'm going to spend less time on unproductive social networks and more time gleaning ideas on Pinterest. And I will use those ideas gleaned to help update my house and my wardrobe this year. I know I can buy sweaters and cardigans at Goodwill and add flowers, beads sequins and belts for a fraction of what I would pay at a department store. Or re-decorate my home with things I've made like new couch cushions or slip covers. And I'm also good with a sewing machine so things like that should be easy for me.

Last year I made a resolution to lose weight, and I did - twenty pounds in fact. So I know I can keep this years! Here's to keeping my resolutions and crafting more!

Happy New Year everyone!