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My Guide to Buying Clothes and Accessories on Ebay

31 January 2013

I'm a frugal gal. There is no other way to put it. I always have been since I started working for my second cousin at the age of 13. I don't place myself in the "cheap" category but I am very cautious to pay full price for just about anything. I live to coupon and relish a good deal especially when it comes to things for myself.

I purchased these gorgeous shoes on Ebay in the fall for $30!

Did you know that the average person spends around 3% of their income annually on clothes? That is a lot of sandwiches. Sometimes, to truly comprehend the cost of something I compare it to how many sandwiches I could buy at Subway. In case you are wondering, that's about 400 footlongs before tax. For some reason there is this stigma out there about buying clothing that is secondhand. Like it is only reserved for punk rock supporters and only useful for costume parties. For example, I know my mother would NEVER wear secondhand clothing especially if she didn't know who she was buying from. How does one get over that? 

I realize there are just some items out there that need to purchased as new. But I've found that for about $50, a solid set of staple pieces of clothing can be found at any Goodwill or Salvation Army as well as online at auction sites like Ebay. I think about it is as the ultimate upcycling. It sickens me to think that people have more than one full closet jammed packed of clothes that they never wear. I'm guilty of it too. 

Ebay. The best online action site on the web. You can start bidding on items starting at $0.99 traditionally and score brand name items in nearly new condition. Here, I've put together a few tips and tricks that I've developed for purchasing clothing and accessories online.

1. Generally know what you are looking for ahead of time.

Sometimes when you shop you aren't exactly looking for something specific. Rather, you need some fresh looks in your stagnant wardrobe. My strategy is to scour the women's fashion section of Pinterest and see what types of "looks" my eye is drawn to. It can be anything from skirts, shirts, shoes to jewelry. If I see an emerald blazer like the one above, I'll search for it on Ebay. Sure, you won't find what you are looking for every time but through using the search tools you can most accurately find what you are looking for. And new items are posted each day so check back frequently!

2. Search for name brands and check size charts.



Think about the stores you frequent and the brands in which you feel the most comfortable. Are you an Ann Taylor or American Eagle shopper? Ralph Lauren or Guess? Recognize the brands you normally buy and think about your size. If purchasing normally depends on how you feel in the outfit, this process might prove to be a little bit of trial and error. Get a sewing tape measure and take your measurements for your bust, natural waist, hip and leg length. Many items are described with the length from the shoulder to the wrist or the hip to the ankle. Won't help you if you don't know your measurements. You wouldn't want to bid on a dress thinking it would come to your knee then it arrives and it is up to your high-thigh!  

3. Take risks on the first bid but be aware of the cost of shipping.
If you are searching through clothing and accessories and see something cute, my policy is bid on it! Especially if it is only $0.99 and shipping is less than $3.00. I bid on a variety of items, roughly 8-9 at a time. But really the ability to "win" those items in an action leaves me with maybe 4-5 items total. I'll scroll along and bid on a bunch of stuff that looks like it will fit and then as the bidding ensues and I get emails that I've been outbid, then I'll make the judgement call of whether I'm still in the game. If it is a unique or high end piece, I'm typically still in and make, a least, a $1 increase in the bid just to indicate to my fellow bidders that I'm serious. Download the Ebay app for your smartphone. It allows you to bid on the go and I'd highly recommend it. 

4. Check for imperfections and read the return policy of the seller.
Armpits, buttons and sweater pill balls! Many pictures allow the opportunity for one to zoom in on areas to assess the damage. If the seller lists no damage, ask again before you bid even that first $0.99. It is the responsibility of the owner to accurately declare imperfections in the item especially if they do not have a return policy. Most sellers will have a 2 week return policy with the shipping paid by the buyer but many sellers list then wash their hands of the item. Message sellers about stains or tears in the clothing. Ask about if there are additional buttons still attached to the item. Channel your inner investigator.   

5. Be sure to find out whether the clothing item is from a smoke-free home. 
Purchasing something secondhand online is always a risk because it could be falsely represented. But buying from a smoke-free home is critical if you are allergic to smoke, or have children and are a nonsmoker. You have been in that situation where you end up at a smokey bar for a night out and have been stuck with leaving your clothes at the door and heading straight for the shower  when you get home because of the smell. Well, smoke is challenging to get out of clothing but this tutorial on ehow.com may help. Again, ask before you bid. And it may be the make or break moment for you. 

Redecorating with a World Map for under $40

29 January 2013


The finished map!

I'm in a home redecorating phase right now. We don't own our home so really the only things I can legitimately change involve our decor and staging. Not only am I staging things different but I have to do so on a very limited budget! Eek! A decorator's worst nightmare. That leaves me re-purposing and redecorating with items that we already have or upgrading them for a limited amount of cash. 

The "before" picture

A few years ago I was at an estate sale of a map collector. Well, I think he was a secret map collector because they were stashed in the basement next to the leaf blower, cans of paint and boxes of old books. I found this map published by National Geographic Magazine from 1957 so the USSR is still present. I purchased it with the intention of having an elaborate gold frame all the way around it to pop against our red walls. When Mr. Collier and I moved into our townhome Tom S' map found a natural place between our two Target bookshelves in the dining room. For two years 8 clear thumbtacks held the map in place until now!    

Let the nerves set in!!!

Michael's craft store had a sale recently where I scored two large canvases for the price of one ($35). I split the cost with my crafty coworker leaving me with a very large $15 canvas. A little black craft paint with a hint of ModgePodge and the project went from a blank canvas to a "faux frame" for under $40 total! I was incredibly nervous while painting the canvas and even more so while gluing the paper map down. But I am so proud of how it came out!
..one more time because it looks so cool!!

Keep Calm and Find Nemo

28 January 2013


My beloved brother from another mother sent me some Nemo love this morning. We do that from time to time. When one is down or overwhelmed with life, a little Finding Nemo cheers us right up! Whether it is "just keep swimming" or "BUBBLES!" the day some how gets better. How is it possible that one movie could have such a profound effect on a friendship? So, because I'm trendy: In true Downton Abbey style...Keep Calm and Remember P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.

Geeky Science Gifts are Cool!

25 January 2013

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I've picked a few of some awesome and nerdy gifts for your loves on Valentine's Day! Click on the pictures to take you to their respective websites. 


















Hearing God Knock....are you listening?

24 January 2013


Do you get nervous the morning of an early morning flight? I certainly do! The night before I am constantly worrying about leaving something behind, having my boarding passes ready and ensuring that I set my alarm clock so that I wake up on time. With all of the items crossed off the list, my husband and I went to bed with the alarm set for 5:30 a.m. because we were heading to Orlando International airport at 6 a.m. sharp.

Around 5:30 a.m. I abruptly woke up to the sound of knocking. It wasn't knocking on the bedroom door but rather it sounded like someone was knocking on the door outside of my brother-in-law's townhome which was just outside of our window. My husband didn't stir but I was panicked. My heart began to flutter and I had trouble getting back to sleep. Here is where God comes in. My alarm was set for 5:30 a.m. remember? But my clock on my phone had not been updated to Eastern time from Central (we were in Florida) so we were scheduled to wake up an hour later that planned!!!! Chill bumps!!!

My husband and in-laws woke up with me and then we hurried to the airport. My husband and I gave quick hugs and dashed inside to check our bags finding ourselves in this enormous snake-like line! I should mention it was moving at a snail's pace. The one hour cut-off for our bags to arrive guaranteed in Nashville ticked by. Grumbles ensued. After, what felt like an eternity, we reached the check-in counter, passed off our stuff and booked it for security. We joined the mass of folks and made our way through security with just enough time to use the restroom and make it to our gate. I felt like the McCallister's in "Home Alone" running through the airport to make it on time.

As my husband and I boarded the plane, we reflected on how we could not have woken up a moment later or we would have missed the entire flight. No one else heard the knocking it turns out so I could only figure that it was God. 

This story makes me wonder how many opportunities to hear God knock in our lives we have but we don't pay enough attention to hear. We need to practice tuning our ears to hear Him in the silence of the night and even in the busyness of our lives. No matter what, God has our back!

Do you have frugality in your life?

23 January 2013


Since the New Year has started, I keep thinking about how to push the Collier house to live more frugally. But what is frugality? For starters, it is a real word. Sort of makes me think of theatricality although totally unrelated (that is for you fellow gLee watchers out there!). 

But what does it take to live a frugal lifestyle? How do you stick to frugal living without feeling deprived of any "splurges" or impulsive purchases? And what benefit can frugal living have on your life? Although concrete conceptually, frugal living is relative to your lifestyle. If you are still paying full price for meals, clothing, grocery items, greeting cards, gifts and activities then you are probably not living frugally despite living within your means.

I interpret living with frugality as being a state where you are maximizing your intake while decreasing your monies out. In other words, it is getting more than you pay for. This can be achieved through a variety of means such as budgeting, cutting back on frivolous purchases, using a cash-only method, brewing your own coffee and bringing your lunch during the week to slash to-go dining. I've realized that it is the culmination of many slight adjustments to our daily lives which really pay off in the end.

How do we start paying less for stuff? This can be achieved through "deal scouting." Deal scouting takes time but with dedication can prove to be incredibly fruitful. Comparison shopping together with couponing is a great start to deal scouting. In my introduction to Collier couponing, I discussed how each week or biweekly I take a look at 5 different store ads in the Sunday paper or on their websites. I write down each item that we use in our home that is on sale or that I can integrate into a meal plan for the week categorized by store. The purpose of writing down the prices for each item on sale that I am interested in is to price compare between stores as well as compare prices to items not on sale while I'm at the grocery store.

Stores like Walmart and Publix honor price matching so it is worth doing your homework before filling up your cart but make sure to bring the store circulars in with you as evidence! Layering store sales, store coupons and manufacturers coupons is the end goal. Stock up on products on sale or during a Buy One Get One (BOGO) event. Let me be straight with you here. I started couponing two years ago and have learned a lot about our personal needs and how to achieve those with couponing. I'm not an extreme couponer. I've never purchased two carts of food for a penny. But what I can reliably do is reduce our grocery bill by half and to us, that is substantial. Our grocery budget is on average less than 6% of our monthly income so it pays to be aggressive when it comes to purchases. Be diligent about searching for coupons before purchasing online or going out to eat. Use websites like retailmenot.com where you can find discount codes and coupons while you are shopping online or before you head out to eat. And regarding saving on activities consider sites like Groupon, AmazonLocal and Living Social or seek out free events in your city (check your city's events calendar). You can't beat free!

With all of the grocery savings, plan your lunches and dinners or spend an afternoon cooking, pre-packaging and freezing meals to ensure that all of your grocery items get used before spoiling as well as voiding the "convenience factor" of purchasing your lunch outside of the home. Packing your own lunch can save you upwards of $1,820 per year (calculated based upon the average lunch cost of $7). Brewing your own coffee by investing in a coffee machine for work or going in with coworkers on a unit can also maximize those savings which can be saved for an annual vacation or put towards your nest egg.


Is it "ok" to eat out or grab coffee with friends? Sure! It is totally up to you! As a metaphor, financial health is very similar to physical health in that indulging in a treat every once and a while is probably not harmful but it is the daily neglect and lack of attention that gets us into trouble. If you can't comfortably live without a weekly latte or coffee date with friends then give yourself a reasonable cash allowance each week. Say you allow yourself $10 each week to spend on whatever you choose. If you want to save it for a big splurge, do. If you want to spend, spend without consequences. Keep it reasonable.

Frugality is much more than a lifestyle choice of being cheap or a penny-pincher. It is also is not just for families and married people. All individual can benefit from understanding the fundamentals of frugal living. I think awareness of frugal living should begin in middle or high school when kids first start to gain an appreciation for money. As a sophomore in high school, I got my first job outside of chores and helping my grandparents and if I knew now what I knew then, I'd be thoughtful about meaningless purchases of turtle statues and plastic key chains with quirky sayings from Claire's which ended up in the trash before I finished high school. I would have put into practice the "earn half, save half" idea to build a hefty savings by my 20's. But you can't fix the past. You can only act in the present and plan for the future.

I'd love to hear the creative ways that you have put frugality into practice in your lives.

Leaning into the Fear of Failure

22 January 2013


I’m currently reading What Women Fear by Angie Smith and I cannot begin to express how much I love this book! It reaches such a broad scope of women and their fears such as what if…, of God, of failure and the like. Her candid writing and truthfulness shine through bringing the point of each chapter home. The book is one where each chapter I’m saying to myself,” I totally have or do feel that way!” Each time I sit down to read, I just keep plowing through it.
As I read the last chapter, which discusses the fear of failure, I find myself in a super frustrating situation at work. It is actually funny because I had a phone conversation with a lifelong friend and we concluded that as you get older, you learn how to manage your personal ticks and cues to work towards being a better person. I'll return to this later, just stick with me.  I am a scientist and daily I work in a lab conducting experiments. Experiments can be very time demanding or in the “set it and forget it” variety. Yesterday, I finished an experiment that was very demanding of my time. At the beginning, I had to stay late and pull a twelve-hour day just to get it to a point where I could walk away and go home. From work, my kind, sweet husband ran to grab us dinner within walking distance because it was going to be a late night. But it was “ok.” I knew that this experiment was important to my work and so I cranked up the radio and got through it. Flash forward to yesterday. I analyzed the data from the experiment and noticed that after this very large, important experiment and all of the time and resources wasted that it didn’t work. Arg!!!
Anger and disappointment were my first two responses. Aversion to my job, my career path and my life choices came next. I was so overcome with emotion that I just had to gather my things, turn off the light switch in the lab and make my way home. Now bringing it back to the conversation that I had with my lifelong friend and What Women Fear. I realized that I wasn’t going to overcome anything by running away despite how badly I wanted to walk into my boss’ office and quit. Since my natural reaction to this type of negative result is aversion and disappointment then perhaps instead of being paralyzed by my fear of the lack of success I could lean into the storm and let it carry me. In other words, perhaps it isn’t me who is a failure. There are a number of points throughout the large experiment which could have gone wrong. I may have physically done something wrong, although I don't recall any deviations from the plan, but that doesn’t mean that I failed. The experiment did. By leaning into the problem I gain control. I steady myself to take the backlash. To paraphrase Angie in her book, if you are on the path that God has provided for you, then you cannot fail because He won’t allow you to.

A bag of apples for $3.00, sure! But now what to do with it?

17 January 2013

On our monthly shopping trip Mr Collier and I picked up a 3lb bag of apples at Aldi for around $3.00. The fruit bowl was filled with a box of clementines we bought for $4.00 so with the addition of the apples we have been literally packed to the brim with fruit. What in the world am I going to do with all of these apples? Sure apples and peanut butter as well as by themselves is delicious but how much of this could we possible eat? And how am I going to incorporate this into our Collier Meal planning?

These are excellent questions and has sparked my search into apple-related recipes. I turned to my go-to on skinny recipes at Skinnytaste and came up with a slew of ideas!
Wow! Quite a lot going on for each meal of the day! A major vein throughout each recipe was the combination of a crockpot, cinnamon and peeled/diced apples. So that is where I've started. I took 8 apples peeled them and cut them up. After placing them in the crock pot I added some vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon and nutmeg. I gave it a littler stir and off it simmered for the rest of the day! 


We ended up with a lot of bourbon apples but it enable me to get creative so the recipes wouldn't wear out. My first concoction was a Bourbon Apple French Toast. Now, I've made French Toast practically my whole life and it wasn't until this experience that I mastered the art. You know how the bread acquires a soggy consistency because of the eggs after cooking? Well, thanks to Alton Brown, I learned that placing the cooked French Toast on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 300 degree F oven takes that problem and throws it out of the window! The French Toast came out beautiful and oh-so-tasty!


As an alternative recipe that we savored over here at the Collier household which allowed me to polish off the bourbon apples was including it into pancake mix. The combination of pancake and gooey apples in each bite was out of this world!

It's been a whole year! So let's celebrate!

14 January 2013


Happy Anniversary, Mr. Collier! Although cliche it moves a lot faster than you realize. After all of the planning, worrying, budgeting and organizing it takes to make a wedding successful in my experience the real fun truly begins the day after the wedding, when my life as Mrs. Collier started.



Sarah+Scott // Highlight Film from Truepix Films on Vimeo.

Engagement Rings Break but Diamonds are Forever!

12 January 2013


Prepare to get shallow with me for a moment folks. The Friday that Mr. Collier and I left for our Christmas travels I was happily sitting at my desk in the lab when I saw a minor "smudge" in the middle of one of the metal pieces of my engagement ring setting. Naturally, I try to clean it off with my finger and "POP". One of the diamond baguettes of my engagement setting pops out and lands in my lap. Granted, it did not truly make a noise but I certainly did!

I left work in a fury. I quickly fought Christmas traffic to our local jewelry store where it was purchased to submit it for repair. Submit is subtle. It was more like relinquished after crying, begging and pleading. My finger feels so naked to this day because I still haven't gotten it back.But this experience has me wondering why it matters so much. I cringe as I type that. I have my wedding band, that should be the important one right? The one that I would painfully regret losing but somehow it doesn't feel that way. I love my sparkly diamond engagement ring. The one that initiated the lifelong promise between Mr. Collier and myself. It has become a part of me and feels wrong to be without it. 

Out of this I did come to the realization that things break and we have no control over it. Ick. Fortunately, I "lost" the diamond in my lab instead of having to fork up the dough to pay for it too to be replaced. A few hundred dollar repair could have easily gone up ten-fold. Alas, it still makes me sad.    

Yummy Salmon Meal Planning Part Deux

11 January 2013


In November I mentioned this awesome Salmon recipe that I had to try because of a post on Pinterest. Well, I can attest that it works, is delicious and is a new favorite in the Collier House. We've now successfully made it four times, at least, since I first found this easy way to prepare salmon.

The best combination is to purchase the salmon at a low prices like $4.99 per pound and then wow everyone with how great it comes out. Our fillets (shown above) were enough for dinner and salads the next day! Get creative with the uses of food in meal planning because I've found that it is all about extending your food resources at home so that you don't constantly supplement with to-go food or are constantly running to the store. 


Jar Journaling Week 1

10 January 2013


What a better way to document the year but by having a weekly journaling jar? The idea is to respond to a weekly prompt and then reflect at the end of the year all of the wonderful things that you have shared with yourself. Stay tuned each week to jar journal along with me! 


A hard and awkward question to answer. Way to start off, right? Why is it embarrassing to talk about ourselves whether good or bad? And why do we often depend on others to tell us what or who we are? Well, let's take a step forward and break the status quo.

If asked what my three best qualities are I would hope people would say that I am a great friend, creative and a leader.

Ibotta! I have a great new couponing app.

09 January 2013

Link

I just got turned onto this couponing app called ibotta and I can attest that it actually is awesome. You look at the products that they are currently offering on your smartphone. Then you can participate in polls, activities and watch videos which translates into coupon savings for things that you already purchase. The bonus is that if you sign up before Friday, you get a $5 cash bonus (deposited into PayPal). 

Yesterday, I was going to the store for some Advil Cold and Sinus. I looked on ibotta and participated in two activities worth $0.50 off. Ibotta coupons can be combined with coupons because after the purchase occurs you photograph (with your phone) your receipt and scan the product. So purchase your products with your normal store and manufacturer's coupons then submit your ibotta when you get home! I did it and by today I had my savings!  If you are interested in signing up click on the link below to start earning! 

$5 Friend Bonus is Ending

Please note the $5 Friend referral sign up Bonus is Ending.  Sign up here by Friday January 11th, 2013 at 12 noon PST so that you can still qualify for the $5 Friend Bonus. 

New Year's Resolution Check-In!

Last week, I posted on my New Year's resolutions and have since been working hard to make them happen. Are you still thinking about them or did they fall by the wayside? Did you know that it takes about 21 days to integrate a new behavior into your lifestyle but only three days to break it? In August I wrote a post on changing behaviors and how hard it truly is to adopt new behaviors into our very rigid mentality of changes. You can do it. Keep it up. If you keep failing at the changes first forgive yourself, pick yourself up and start each day fresh again. 

Here is an update on my New Year's Resolutions. 
  • One for health: I am going to continue my pursuit of a better me by increasing my exercise habits, reducing my sugar intake, cutting carbs and substituting tea for coffee after 8 a.m. I will be working on staying hydrated throughout the day keeping my tummy full and my system clean. 
    Reflecting on my current health routine, I can definitely see a difference since the summer. Not only am I five pounds away from my wedding weight (almost a year ago) but I am routinely using lotion to keep my skin hydrated and strong, taking vitamins daily and flossing nightly. A huge improvement from this summer and even a year ago. I am a firm believer in taking care of your body as a method of preventative medicine. As of Thursday of last week, I can run a mile in under 14 minutes. Don't laugh, it is much faster than someone sitting on the couch!!! 

    01/08 update: It has been one week since I made this goal. In that time, I've worked out at the gym twice. First was an intensive BarreAmped workout with my dear Lori. It kicked my butt seriously for the rest of the week. Sunday I had some free time and took a Zumba class the student recreation center. Despite having so-so experiences in the past, I can report the class was rather lively. I think I shall return this coming Sunday, perhaps make a "thing" of it. I plan on going to Barre on Sunday and then perhaps Zumba or yoga early next week!

  • One for wealth: This year I resolve to reduce my frivolous spending on clothes, coffee, snacks and groceries. All savings will be set aside and left untouched. Mr. Collier and I are hoping to save enough to get a down payment on our first home in the coming year or two. That and we may have to make a car purchase if his truck decides to bite the dust.

    01/08 update: I have not purchased one coffee at Suzie's, the coffee bar down the hall from my lab all week! I even have a free coffee that I am holding onto for a day where I cannot take it!
    I made one coffee purchase through the whole week at ABP when I met up with a friend but I used my discount mug. There were no clothing purchases made this week but rather tons of purging at our home. Wait for those blog posts upcoming! I've been packing extra snacks so that I don't have the craving to buy during the day.

    Another financial thing I did this week was begin the 52 week challenge that has been circulating all over the internet the last week. The idea is that every week a little bit of money is set aside so that in the end of the year there is quite a sum left over!  



  • One for me: This year I resolve to spend quality time with the Lord each day in prayer, bible study and prayer journaling. I spent some time throughout the year working on a daily bible verse and devotional in my Christian walk blog but I could always improve in daily renewal in the Spirit.

    01/08: Wednesday nights at our church starting tomorrow is hosting a new women's study and my friend Morgan and I are going to participate. I have also been receiving a bible verse each Monday from a coworker to help align my perspective each week. Finally, I have started incorporating praise and worship music into listening selections during the day. 93.9 F.M. in the car and the Contemporary Christian station on Pandora are two of my favorites. 

  • One for humanity: This year I resolve to spend one day per month volunteering and giving my time to those around me. When I moved to Nashville I joined Hands On Nashville to seek out volunteer opportunities but unfortunately, I've never followed through on that one.

    01/08: My friend Catherine from church and I were talking about our New Year's resolutions and it became clear that we both wanted to do something for others. So, we decided to sign up to help at a local food bank in Nashville called Second Harvest which provides meals to families and individuals in need. We settled on going one Saturday per month starting in February. If any of my Nashville friends are reading this and are interested in helping out with us, let me know!

  • One for my marriage: This year I resolve to spend less time saying,"yes," to every person and their mother that asks me to be a part of something and spend more time with my husband. And by time, I mean not in front of the T.V. True, quality time. I want my marriage to be as beautiful as my wedding was.
01/08: This week I've said," no" to at least two obligations in order to spend more time with Mr. Collier. I've reserved blogging and internet browsing for when we are not together such as in the morning and have made a conscious effort to have quality time with him in the evenings. We have a big date night coming up on Saturday in celebration of our one year anniversary and I'm really looking forward to that! 

Recipe Handwritten Art

06 January 2013


I've been spending a significant amount of time sorting through our junk room and looking for items to decorate our home with on a minimal budget. In doing so I discovered this great frame which displayed a stagnant picture from a few years back. We hardly ever walk by the photo to appreciate the memory enclosed within so I figured it would be a great opportunity for re-purposing.

About a year ago I received a handwritten copy of one of my favorite family recipes on my mom's side, pierogi. Not only is it in my grandma's handwriting but there are countless memories of watching her make the dish in addition to every Christmas when she would make pierogi for the family. 

So I cut a little piece of scrapbook paper as the mount and added the recipe to make this very attractive piece, if I do say so myself. This little beauty found a home on my dresser so that I can look at it daily and remember the great woman my grandma was. 

Re-decorating and Re-purposing

03 January 2013



Decorating on a budget is always a challenge especially when it comes to feeling stagnant about your decor. And if you are like me, you enjoy incorporating new pretties into your home. Between the thrift store, hardware store for paint and digging through your old stuff I haven't come up with a cheaper way to decorate. Hence, I propose a method of re-purposing the items that you already have!

A few months, that's right, a few months ago I purchased these three frames for around $15 total I believe at Walmart. If my memory serves me correct, I think at the time I had the intention of spray painting them some monochromatic color which would contrast nicely with all of the texture on the frame. Well, these frames sat in the bag for a few weeks. Then they were placed in the spare bedroom which also functions as a "junk" room. Then finally, last night after some much needed cleaning in the spare bedroom I came across these guys as well as printed copies of some of our engagement photos.

I remember printing off the engagement photos in triplicate copies to share with our families over a year and half ago and the remnants or "left-behinds" have literally sat in the Shutterfly envelope since. I hate to waste all of these things so I combined them! And I think they look pretty cool! The next question was where to place them in our home. This is where the re-decorating with your own stuff comes in handy!

We call our dining room the "international" dining room because we have selected relics from our travels for the decor. These items adorn two flimsy Target bookcases and are often collecting dust more than being used. It is amazing how rearranging items on shelves impacts the overall look. Besides, the engagement photos really found a home!



New Years Resolutions & Looking Forward to 2013!

01 January 2013


A clean slate! A whole new year ahead. Another chance to make yourself the "you" that you want to be and impact your own little corner of the world. Does it slightly freak you out? 'Cause I'm sort of anxious about the calendars filling up and deadlines and such. But today is not the day of worry! Today is the day of renewal. 

I've thought long and hard about my New Years Resolutions. And I've narrowed them down to five. 
  • One for health: I am going to continue my pursuit of a better me by increasing my exercise habits, reducing my sugar intake, cutting carbs and substituting tea for coffee after 8 a.m. I will be working on staying hydrated throughout the day keeping my tummy full and my system clean. 
    Reflecting on my current health routine, I can definitely see a difference since the summer. Not only am I five pounds away from my wedding weight (almost a year ago) but I am routinely using lotion to keep my skin hydrated and strong, taking vitamins daily and flossing nightly. A huge improvement from this summer and even a year ago. I am a firm believer in taking care of your body as a method of preventative medicine. As of Thursday of last week, I can run a mile in under 14 minutes. Don't laugh, it is much faster than someone sitting on the couch!!! 
     
  • One for wealth: This year I resolve to reduce my frivolous spending on clothes, coffee, snacks and groceries. All savings will be set aside and left untouched. Mr. Collier and I are hoping to save enough to get a down payment on our first home in the coming year or two. That and we may have to make a car purchase if his truck decides to bite the dust. 

  • One for me: This year I resolve to spend quality time with the Lord each day in prayer, bible study and prayer journaling. I spent some time throughout the year working on a daily bible verse and devotional in my Christian walk blog but I could always improve in daily renewal in the Spirit.  

  • One for humanity: This year I resolve to spend one day per month volunteering and giving my time to those around me. When I moved to Nashville I joined Hands On Nashville to seek out volunteer opportunities but unfortunately, I've never followed through on that one. 

  • One for my marriage: This year I resolve to spend less time saying,"yes," to every person and their mother that asks me to be a part of something and spend more time with my husband. And by time, I mean not in front of the T.V. True, quality time. I want my marriage to be as beautiful as my wedding was. 

I will be thinking of all of you as I work on my resolutions and hope that you pick something that you are really passionate about and you will succeed!
Cheers!
Mrs. Collier