Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spending Hiatus . . . Food and Money

I'm feeling bummed. Straight-up, everything feels hopeless these past two days, with money being the biggest factor. After a careless weekend with eating out (every day!) and spending too much money on stuff that we didn't actually need, I'm feeling guilty, and bummed. We put in an application today for a new apartment a block away from my work, which is really cute and big (compared to our 456 sq. feet that we've been living in for over a year), and cheaper than what we're paying now. If we do end up moving though, we'll be paying double-rent for a month, and draining our savings account (we're hoping to get our money back on our current deposit/pet deposit, but moving costs money!), which is a harsh reality.

My plan? Even if we don't get the apartment, I'm reinforcing the Spending Hiatus/eating in, for at least a month. I need something to keep me on track! Our new monthly income will have changed starting at the beginning of the month (cut hours for both Joel and myself), and it seems like that should be enough time to get a grasp of what is actually coming in, and what we can afford to have going out. What's different from every other Spending Hiatus I've tried to do previously is . . . I'm going to actually try hard! And I'm including food in this one. We've tried pretty hard to create a "food bank" this past month, and to lessen our spending, but we're still paying too much for food, and not eating what we actually have. The exceptions will be to buy a little bit of fresh produce every week (I am trying to be healthy and lose weight, after all), probably some almond milk, and some sort of protein (if we run out of what we have -- though, we kind of have a lot right now). I'm giving us a budget of $22.50/week to stock up on what we think we have to have. Is that reasonable? It's super low for what we normally spend (closer to the $100/week mark -- or more?), but I think if we actually try hard, we can do it. At the very least, we'll be spending way less than normal.

The other exception? Um . . . this. I actually bought it in black last month, but canceled the order after Joel told me that I should wait for the yellow. So technically, I would already have this, and I have been waiting patiently for months to have one of these. I have the money saved in the bank, and I do plan to make the purchase. I'm justifying this with the fact that I only have one other purse, which doesn't have a shoulder strap, and it's currently beat up. Don't judge me on this one, okay? If it was available any sooner, I would already totally have it.

And a just-in-case? Technically, I have about $40 to spend between Happy Teriyaki and Barnes and Noble . . . plus, $25 at Amazon, and $20 to spend on a new Groupon. Gosh, I love Groupon . . . and LivingSocial, for that matter. That looks like a lot, altogether, doesn't it? So, if I actually have any unexpected things pop up (do I need to give a gift? did something break? friends in town that want to go to dinner?), we'll be okay on that end too.

Whew. HERE GOES. Does anyone want to try this with me?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

the past two weeks: in photos

I'm pretty behind on updating what has actually happened lately -- or even in the past (!), but I'm giving it a shot!

My friend, Chase, that I went to college with came into town this week to visit his brother, who happens to live in Olympia, as well! How fun! We got together and he was super sweet and bought me lunch. A little bit after, we went for coffee and chai, and drove to a couple of my favorite places in Olympia to look at mossy trees and to search for jellyfish in the sound. Chase told me all about every boat in the marina, tried to grab a live crab from the water, and wowed me with how amazing he's doing. It was a super nice, refreshing, and inspiring afternoon!

Yesterday, after getting downtown a little early (um, about 45 minutes early?) for a shoot with a really sweet and fun band (their video is below -- AND AMAZING!), we stumbled onto a sign for a flea market (brand new to Oly?), and totally followed it. Most of it was okay, but not really anything I cared for, except for one totally amazing booth. It.was.incredible. We got the call that we had to leave to meet the dudes, but I totally went back today, and spent at least half an hour looking at everything (and I think I still missed a lot!). I'll definitely be going back next week to look at their new stuff/see what other pretty presents I can buy for my friends and family. I don't think that I went totally overboard, but I did get a few necklaces, sweater clips, and earrings (not all for me!).

. . . And I forgot to mention the really amazing thing about this shop! It's all jewelry from 1969 that was packed away in a storage unit until now. Over 2000 boxes of jewelry were packed up with a little piece of chalk (to absorb moisture), only to be sorted through now. So, it's never-before-worn 1960s jewelry. Isn't that the coolest? It feels really special to me. I feel like I pass on a lot of jewelry at thrift stores, because it doesn't have a story, and I don't want to just keep bringing home jewelry . . . but these totally feel special and beautiful. My favorite kind!

Last weekend, Joel and I took a mini day trip to see the Mima Mounds, for a possible photo shoot location. We couldn't actually find it to save our lives (we turned the wrong way!), but we found a few pretty (and wet and mossy) places along the way. Once we had finally decided to head home, we took a wrong turn and found the mounds! Ha! Totally not shoot-worthy, but still pretty cool to see. I'll bet they're beautiful in the summer (or basically, when they're not brown)!

The night before that, we had our sweet friends, Joel and Ness over for dinner to thank them for feeding our kitties while we were away from Christmas (late much??). It's always super nice to hang out, and we always end up playing a little dominos . . . and this time, watching tons of Waynes World and hip hop youtube videos. Isn't that how hanging out at our house ends up every time? It was great! Our dinner was AMAZING, and our company was perfect. So much fun!

And then the night before that (we're working backwards here!), our sweet friends, Mike and Beth, had us over for a little bbqing/campfire time before their new baby showed up (she was finally born yesterday! Yay!), and we sat around for five hours eating grilled potatoes and apples, and hanging out with them and our other friend, Ben. I kept busy by taking pictures of the moon, while balancing the camera on my lap. It was so perfect, and surprisingly awesome for a February night (shouldn't it have been snowing or something?). :)

We had a super successful team lunch with all of the dudes at work the day after Valentine's Day!

Gibbs found new hiding places/sleeping holes (what a baby!). . .

Mariella, Kelly, and I went up to Seattle to see a lecture at the Henry by Khaela Maricich (of The Blow) and conceptual artist Melissa Dyne (she showed a video from another show that I was at four years ago -- with the audience and the paper!), and then out for dinner at the Palace Kitchen with our friend, Ingeborg. It was amazing!

And on my walk to work, I saw this pretty (pretty giant!) Blue Heron. Pretty awesome!

Hope that your week was just as good!


Monday, February 14, 2011

ashley and eli's wedding weekend: in photos

The last weekend of January, Joel and I hopped in the car and drove for a few hours, then hopped on a ferry to Whidbey Island, Washington to make it to Ashley Erikkson and Eli Moore's wedding (of the amazing LAKE). It was our first time on this ferry, and our first time on Whidbey, so it was doubly exciting. We made it there early and ran into the groom and a few other friends on the street, walked around the shops, and had lunch at a cute little Greek restaurant. I wish we had more time before things to really explore, but after lunch, we made our way to the church to get ready for the wedding.

We ran into sooo many people we knew from Olympia, and caught up with friends while we waited around to be let in. We sat in the back once we got into the church, and though the ceremony was pretty short, it was super sweet and simple. Kind of not what I was expecting, but it was perfect for both of them -- the picture below is the only one that I managed to get during the ceremony (it was so quiet -- but first kiss photo!). Ashley's dress was perfect -- I wish I had gotten a better picture of it before she changed into her reception dress, which was also super beautiful!

The reception: (half of these taken by Ben Kapp!)

Karl Blau was grilling oysters outside!

First bite of cake!

Instead of a first dance, they had a first song! OF COURSE!

That night, we left a little early and took two ferries to get to Vashon Island, Washington, where we slept over at Sophia and Tyrel's, and then the next morning took their "Save the Date" photos for their wedding. They are TOO CUTE! I love hanging out with them!

After the shoot, Sophia made us amazing green smoothies, and we took our final ferry back to Tacoma early so that Joel could get home to do homework! How boring! So worth the weekend away, though! It was perfect!