My pride bought me the car I wanted

The car I wanted in 2017 was not the car I could afford, but it was the one my pride said I needed. I’m learning that a few years later.

In May 2017 I had the privilege of getting to replace my vw turbo. How lucky of me. Right at 65,000 miles it needed to be replaced…apparently something normal for VW. Something I was NOT warned about at my 60,000 checkup.

The replacement cost me over $4,000. That’s after 4 brand new tires, a windshield and a 60,000 checkup in March. Needless to say, that first half was very very expensive.

So after getting the turbo replaced, I sold the car and upgrade to an Acura RDX & a lease. A car I really couldn’t afford, but a car that I knew was nice, that my friends and family would think was nice, and a car that honesty id been eyeing for years.

10 months later I was at Honda begging them to buy my Acura and put me in something cheaper. They happily did, and into another lease. See, I didn’t have any savings. I had a lot of debt, so there was no money for a down payment.

Now it’s June 2019. My husband is realizing that a lease is essentially a long rental and the HR-V that I got will not work in Colorado when we move in the future. Which means we’ll be selling the HR-V to get me into something different that can handle more than sprinkling rain. (LOL but seriously)

Looking back my pride was such a big issue. I could have gotten something way less nice for a payment I could afford without a lease but didn’t want to. So much learning has been happening, and will continue to do so. It’s neat watching God break me down to build me back up.

My advice. Look HARD before making a big purchase. Check your heart. Did you walk into Acura because you can really truly afford it and do want it, or because it’s something your friends will compliment? My reason was definitely not the first. Also look hard before deciding to sign a lease. You do not get to keep the car at the end. You make all the payments and then give it back. Renting an apartment sucks because you’re putting money into an investment for someone else, a lease works the same way.

Buy the car you can afford. Pay cash if possible. If you can’t pay cash, make sure you truly can afford the payments. Do a lot of research before signing a lease. Check for the best sales and haggle!! Even though you can’t at CarMax, you can everywhere else!!


Our year of sober living

Stephen and I decided while we were engaged to give up alcohol for a year after our honeymoon. We found that a lot of our social lives revolves around food and alcohol, and since we’re super strict budgeting for the next long while, we decided alcohol would be a good thing to give up as well.

On the last day of our honeymoon we were killing time, stting at a Mexican restaurant I decided on water and a coke instead of a margarita…I’m also giving up caffeine. I’m a terrible sleeper and we’re hoping that the removal of both uppers and downers from my diet changes that, but I digress.

We’ve been alcohol free for 7 weeks, and honestly it’s been WAY easier than I thought it would be. We’ve gotten some “you’re not going to last” comments from friends, but if the rest of the year is as easy as the last 7 weeks have been, we’ll make it 10 months and many more.

I’m sleeping better, my skin has cleared up, I’m not bloated or holding water like I was before, and waking up without a hangover has been amazing! I’m waking up at 8am on the weekends and spending my mornings productively before enjoying the rest of the day with my husband. I am loving the extra time I’m getting in my weekends!

Do you live a sober life? Have you noticed anything different in your life now than when you were drinking? I’ve noticed lots of things but will post about this in a few months.


DIY laundry detergent

When I started looking into homesteading and what it looks like for my family, DIY cleaning products, soaps, detergent was the first thing I started looking into.

My sweet husbands skin gets irritated by laundry detergent and I have ezcuma so anything to help improve both of our skin was the first change I wanted to make. Through research, I learned there are a ton of different recipes, different soaps to use, so you use borax or no? Essential oils? Unscented/scented?

This is what I ended up doing and it’s so simple.

– 1/3-1/2 cup dr. B Castile soap. I bought the baby one since that’ll be the most sensitive for our skin.

⁃ 1/2 cup white vinegar

I bought a 1/3 and 1/2 cup measuring spoon that stays in the laundry room for this stuff only.

That’s it. The recipe I found, on the Dr.Bronners website, suggests the vinegar at the beginning of the rinse cycle but my washing machine has a special compartment for liquid softener, so I just put the vinegar in there!

Ive always preferred liquid detergent which is why I didn’t look into anything that was powder/dry.

This mix hasn’t caused any issues with either of our skins and his skin has cleared up since we made the switch! Who would have thought something made for cleaning our clothes could cause our bodies so many problems?!

The best part is that Dr.Bronners soap can be used for all kinds of different things! For more ways to use it, check out their website!


Planning an eco-friendly wedding

I’m going to be honest with you, I did 90% of my own wedding planning myself. I didn’t hire a planner or a full coordinator because I had an idea in mind and new I could figure it out myself. But I did hire a day of coordinator to help with all the details that day like keeping us on schedule, dealing with the vendors, cleaning up, collecting gifts and cards to put in my car, etc.

One of the changes I’ve been working on as a soon to be new wife was how can our money go further, but how can we be more sustainable in the process, even when it comes to the wedding?

Dishes: Our appetizer and dinner plates were all eco-friendly, made from 100% Natural Sugarcane. How cool is that?? I had looked into renting beautiful dishes, but that would have cost us $2,500. Instead we found these simple, elegant dishes that would work perfectly, while also being cautious of the environment. You can order them here.

Napkins: We bought cloth napkins for our guests and donated them to our wedding coordinator for her to rent out to future clients, instead of just tossing them. Plus they looked really beautiful in burgundy with gold silverware tucked inside.

Dessert Bar: We did a dessert bar for the reception. Instead of hiring a fancy bakery, we used our local grocery stores bakery instead to cut on costs. For the set up, we reused all of the items my mom had created for the bridal shower. She’d made these beautiful 2 tier serving platters from plates and candle sticks she bought at the Dollar Store and had other plates and trays that we took advantage of as well.

Guest book: We wanted a guest book that would be useful, rather than something that would hang on the wall. We ended up ordering a giant custom Jenga set for people to leave a note on, so they could help us build our love. ♥️ it’ll be great to have for tailgates, backyard bbqs or just hanging out with our kids in the future. Plus, every time we use it we’ll be reminded of all the love from friends and family!

For my bridal shower, my mom also purchased us a beautiful Bible with our names on the cover. She has guests highlight their favorite verse and sign their name. We used that as a guest book as well so we can look back on those scriptures!

Decor: Our ceremony decor consisted of on a cream chandelier that we rented from the venue. I wanted super simple. Nothing to take away or distract our guests, but also to highlight to beautiful backdrop. We got married under a massive and stunning oak tree and I felt she was a star of the decor. Nothing additional or unnecessary fluff was going to make her any more beautiful.

Our reception was SUPER simple. We rented farmhouse tables from our venue, which thankfully don’t need much decoration since they’re beautiful on their own! I took the labels off of 40+ wine bottles that we’d saved or collected from my parents and friends to use on the tables. My mom added glitter to about half and our florist filled them all with flowers. We added gold candle votives as well for a change of dimension and a little romantic lighting. I was able to rent the majority of those from our florist and then purchased an additional 25 + the tea lights on amazon. We let all of the guests take home the wine bottles with flowers so they could continue to enjoy them at home and hopefully reuse the bottles!!

How did you incorporate being conscious and eco-friendly into your wedding?