Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy NYE!

It is New Years Eve day... and rather than going out to eat and shopping and buying my last fancy coffee before it becomes criminal, I'm working. (Ok, I did go out and buy a fancy latte...and I savored it like they were the last espresso beans that ever existed.)

AND making a list of all the things that made 2012 really great.

1. My ManFriend. He's great. And handsome. And smart. And a laundry list of other positive adjectives. Plus he puts up with me, so that pretty much makes him a saint.

2. Donuts. We've had a great love affair this year. They're my new investment. And they are the reason I've put on an additional 5lbs of love.

3. Social media. Pinterest for my Martha Stewart habits, Instagram for when I'm feeling like Steven Meisel, and Printstagram for when I need to hold my work in my hands! (You know, in the real, non-Internet world.) 

4. I have the cutest job in the world. I dare anyone to find a cuter trio of siblings. I am so grateful that these are the people I get to spend my days with. So very grateful.

5. I seriously love taking the bus to get around. Is that strange? I hate driving and parking and the upkeep of being a car owner. The bus is easy and fun and I can read in transit :)

6. Searching new fonts online has become a new hobby for me. Why didn't I know this world existed before now?! It's so much fun! (And usually free!)

7. A tall person can lay down on my studio floor and touch wall to wall. But I love this charming abode; with it's step up into the bathroom, high ceilings, and 1 drafty half window. It's my own little chilly cave covered floor to ceiling in art and books and shoes.

8. Coffee. Either really hot or extra ice. I like 7-11 coffee as much as I adore Intelligentsia. 

9. Crochet projects. It's a skill I learned the basics from my grandma when I was very young, but kind of fell to the wayside until this year. This year I made so many gifts. I'm really proud to be able to give people something that I worked hard on.

10. Snail mail. From birth announcements and Christmas cards to Stylemint purchases, my doorman had his hands full with the amount of lovely mail I got this year.

11. My mom and sister keep my look fresh :) It sounds vain, but I'm so appreciative of them for doing my hair and for no charge. I see how much ladies spend to get their hair done, and if I had to pay for it I'd definitely still be a brunette! 

12. My friends and family. They are the glue that keeps me together and the support that let's me sparkle and shine. (That was a stretch of a metaphor, but I didn't have a picture of ALL my friends and family!) 

Here's to a fantastic 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Stuff!

T-minus 2 days until "Operation Spending Fast" is set to take place...and I am in a PANIC!

During a last minute grocery shopping trip (to Aldi, no less ;) ) it suddenly sunk in. No more perusing the make-up aisle at CVS, no more peeking into the Home Goods store, absolutely no reason to be browsing flash sale sites, Amazon, or Etsy.

I'm not prepared for this.

SO I did what any other All-American girl in my position would do. I went over Target with a fine tooth comb. I left no aisle unturned. (You never no what little treasures one could find among the sporting goods, right?)

Here's the (short) list of things that I bought while breathing heavily into a paper bag...(a little dramatic, maybe. But not so far off from the truth!)

This film scanner. I've been needing a scanner for a while. I really have. And this one had great reviews for a decent price. And now I can stop taking advantage of my friend Alec every time I need a roll or 6 scanned. (Even if he was being paid off in delicious homemade donuts :) )

I NEEDED this cute date book. It was on my Christmas list, but apparently people don't seem to understand the joy really lovely paper products bring to me. 

I had been using a $3.00 18 month Barbie day-planner for the past year, which served it's purpose just fine (recording how much money I take in/spend daily and my work schedule) and it fit perfectly in any handbag. This new one cost 5x as much and fits of my handbags. But I love it nonetheless! 

Because when is more chapstick ever a crime?

Ok, I just needed something pretty to hold me over. It has horses on it...and a bow. SOLD.

I also purchased new nail color of the Kardashian sort because it was 50% off (you will begin to see this as a pattern) and I knew I'd probablyyy want a new polish sometime this month anyway! 

During this blur of a spree, I bought 2 packs of eyeliner and mascara because they were also on sale. But in my crazy person frenzy, I didn't realize that they were BROWN-BLACK instead of blackest black! I didn't think to look for the color because it didn't occur to me that people would even wear something other than blackest black. What would I possibly do with TWO brown-black mascaras and TWO brown-black eyeliners?!

Anyway, after I cursed myself for being an idiot and wasting money before this project could even get underway, I actually tried my new beauty products. And I low and behold, I liked the results! Much softer than I'm used to, but definitely a happy little accident. 

Now that I've exhausted my poor VISA, it's time to me to lose it and order a new one (or not.) 
How else does one forget that dang memorized number?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I should mention that this Spending Fast project is two-fold.
Not spending money to pay off debt is important to me. Very important.

But so is living more simply. Enjoying life (without so much STUFF) and the people I share it with (without the burden of having to spending cash to spend time together!)

Even after downsizing from a one bedroom apartment with 3 big closets and ample storage to my charming little studio with it's one.tiny.little.closet and no usable storage space to speak of, I still have more stuff than I know what to do with. My drawers are at capacity, under the bed is overflowing tupperware containers, and I can't close the closet door without using all my body weight..

And, sadly, I can count the number of times I've "entertained" on one hand. ( I use the word "entertained" loosely, because in order to actually have people over for a meal we have to picnic on my floor...and if we're just hanging out, it has to be on my bed watching my 13 in. television. or listening to music on my Macbook... Really, I may as well live in a dorm.)

So! In addition to using "eat more cake" as a forum to share my journey (journey? really? bring on the cheese...), struggle, and most importantly, successes out of debt, I'm also using this as a platform to display all the simple (see: cheap, inexpensive, free) pleasures that I'll be paying more attention to and photographing!

I'm assuming most of the images I'll be sharing will be of babies and food. But who knows, I could surprise myself! This is, after all, a growing process.

Friday, December 28, 2012

We got no money, but we got heart, heart, heart.

“Ok. don't panic. Don't panic. It's only a VISA bill. It's a piece of paper; a few numbers. I mean, just how scary can a few numbers be?” 

Show of hands: Who has seen or read Confessions of a Shopaholic? It's a light-hearted, beach read about the quirky Becky Bloomwood and her misguided love affair with her credit card. She's endearing and (arguably) quite likable.

Except that she's kinnnd of a compulsive liar and sort of selfish and has not an ounce of self control in her entire body.
However, anyone that has ever hidden unopened bills from themselves... or faked an accent when collectors call... or has bought a pair of $250 shoes instead of paying the gas bill... or has had a bad day and needed to buy something...just a little a consolation... this just me? :) Anyway, I find her completely relatable in the worst kind of way.

So here I am.
Up to my ears in debt.
Trying to start a new business.
And I am the queen of not following through. (I get bored, lose interest, forget about it, don't have time...I have a laundry list of reasons why...I embarrassingly have a million unfinished projects sitting around my itty bitty apartment.)

Here is my public declaration...
::drum roll::

January 1st begins the first month of my Spending Fast! I'll be using And Then We Saved as my bible! (Check her out!)

Simply put, I will not be spending money on anything I don't NEED. 
And similarly to Ms. Bloomwood, I can justify most of my "wants" as "needs"(ahem...$100 rabbit fur ear muffs...) The following is a very black and white, if not all-inclusive, list of things I will have to spend money on and things I just can't.

NEEDS! Things I will have to spend money on



Phone bill.

Groceries. (comparative shopping, coupon clipping (!?) and researching deals rather than going to the fancy store that's only a stones throw away.)

Monthly bus pass/ public trans. (or walk! most everything I need is within a mile of me!)

Photo supplies. (done cost effectively and sparingly.)

WANTS! Things I can NOT spend my money on

Eating out.

Fancy coffee. (and the yummiest. :( )

Clothes/ Shoes. (learn to shop my closet and repurpose old items.)

New makeup.

Cute little notebooks.

Trinkets/ knick knacks/ tchotchke (AKA JUNK)

Books. (Get a library card! borrow or have a book swap with friends! some of these money saving tricks are so smack-me-in-the-head-DUH!)

Pretty paper.

Boxes of greeting cards. (already own a half dozen..)

Waxing. (they created razors for a reason, i suppose.)

Cabs. (I'm embarrassed at the amount of cabs I take.)

Home decorations.


Cupcake liners. (I don't know...I'm a hoarder of the weird variety. they ARE usually on sale :) )

Alright, seeing as my "wants" list is quite a bit longer than my "needs" list, now would be the time to wish me luck.