January 2017 Debt Repayment Recap

Happy first DRR of 2017! I was kinda sad about this month, because I’d been all fired up about paying off everything in the world, but then life happened. Life I probably should have prepared for last month instead of throwing my entire accident settlement at my debt, but whatever. Here’s something interesting. I compared these numbers to my January 2016 debt repayment recap, and I’ve dropped my car loan by 4.21%, my credit card by 60.67% and my overall debt by 9.38%. The general trend is down.

December 30, 2016
Car Loan: $17,205.22
Credit Card Debt: $320.64
Total: $17,525.86

January 30, 2017
Car Loan: $16,894.50 (-1.8%)
Credit Card Debt: $699.16(+118.05%)
Total: 17,593.66 (+.38%)

My credit card debt went up, and here’s why. Just like last year, when my credit card debt mysteriously shot up in the month of January, I made an impulsive decision to visit Nashville. I’d assumed I’d be able to pay it off quickly, but then we had an unexpected winter storm and I was snowed in, unable to work, for a week. It hurt me, bad.

Unlike last year, though, I’m not going to let this deter me in the long run. Last year I got discouraged by the detour and kind of threw in the towel on the whole thing. Not this year.

You know what was cool, while I was in Nashville, Ernie took me to THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW. and GUESS WHO I MET!!!!

Me and Dave Ramsey // stephanieorefice.net

Y’all, it was SO COOL. They have a cafe where they GIVE AWAY FREE MOCHAS. and COOKIES! It was awesome. This is the show we were there for:

I did feel ULTRA guilty that I was there because of a credit card, though. Next time that won’t be the case… and maybe the time after that, I can do a debt free scream 😀

For February I’m doing the cash-only system, so I’m hoping that’s going to help free up a bunch of money to get that credit card problem taken care of!

How did y’all do with your financial goals during January?

February 6, 2017

Currently // February

I could probably start EVERY SINGLE ONE of my posts with “HOW IS IT ALREADY TIME FOR THIS AGAIN,” but I’m going to not and then you can all just pretend I’m saying that, okay?

Here’s what’s happening on this side of the computer! I am currently…

packing //
Well, I’ve actually just started unpacking from Nashville BUT at the beginning of March I’m flying down to San Francisco for my day off (THANK YOU SOUTHWEST RAPID REWARDS POINTS) so I’ll be packing for that later this month 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge // Stephanieorefice.net

jonesing //
for a change. I think I’ve figured it out. I just have to be brave. Insert the strong arm emoji right here.

strong arm emoji // stephanieorefice.net

texting //
The Halters. I’ve been texting both of them a lot, about a variety of things. I miss them already.

reading //
On my goals for the month is to read Harry Potter + the Prisoner of Azkaban and two others. Reading Penguins & Golden Calves and I’m trying to figure out what my other book will be. I was going to ask for recommendations, but I have SO MANY BOOKS in my room. I’m thinking Boundaries – have any of you read it? I have a copy somewhere.

Currently reading // stephanieorefice.net


hearting //
The other night Justen and I went to see Hidden Figures as part of my goal to watch all the Best Pic movies before the Oscars… oh my word you guys. I LOVE that movie SO VERY MUCH. I just bought the soundtrack because I felt like the whole time I was watching the movie I was bobbing my head and saying “this song is so good!” So that movie + soundtrack.

I’m also hearting the idea of SUNSHINE. I’m so over this cold, y’all!

Justen and I both started using the envelope/cash only system this month, and I am LOVING that. It’s so freeing knowing that I’ve set aside money to spend on things that are important, and I can use what is left to really work on paying off my credit card, which is a huge priority for me this month.

One other thing I’m hearting? The idea of getting rid of stuff. I know that previously I’ve focused on de-cluttering (I have another post to share soon!) but I feel like every time I look at stuff I’ve de-cluttered, there’s more clutter on it. Last night I said to Justen, “I feel like I don’t have a lot of stuff, but there’s just SO MUCH STUFF.” I once read that if you’re focused on how to organize, you might be missing the point. Organizing clutter isn’t as important as completely getting rid of clutter, you know?! Help me out y’all – any of you feel overwhelmed with stuff a lot?!


Linking up with Anne and Erin 🙂

February 3, 2017

February Goals

IT BEING MY MOST FAVORITE MONTH OF THE YEAR. It’s quite unfortunate that it comes so quickly once the year has started, because then it feels like it’s over so quickly.

Before we get going on February’s goals, let’s look back at January’s Goals!

January 2017 Goals

01. Complete Whole 30
02. Pay off Credit Card
03. Finish Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets + 2 other books {Total Money Makeover & Love Your Life, Not Theirs}
04. Document an ordinary day in pictures {1.31.17}
05. Add 50 things to my gratitude journal (let’s try this again!)
06. Lose 5 lbs 
07. Get my inbox to 0 {1.24.17}
08. De-clutter something {1.31.17}
09. Try 2 new recipes {Whole 30 mango chicken + bacon quiche}
10. Send 5 letters

80%! And the first two didn’t get crossed off because of the same reason: Nashville!! and for that, I have 0 regrets 😀

You’ll see some posts about things I’ve crossed off in the next few weeks, but until then…. FEBRUARY GOALS!

February Goals // stephanieorefice.net

February 2017 Goals

01. Read Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban + 2 other books
02. Watch all of the Oscar best picture nominees before the Oscars.

  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Moonlight
  • Hell or High Water
  • LaLa Land
  • Hidden Figures
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Fences

03. Send 30 Valentine’s
(e-mail me your address and I’ll send you one!)

04. Exercise 30 minutes a day, 3xs a week
So last month I lost 5 lbs. Then I stepped on the scale yesterday, the last day of the month, and realized I’d gained back 3 of those pounds. Guess I didn’t lose them well enough and they found me again. By “exercise,” I even mean going for a walk. Just doing SOMETHING, because I think my lack of exercise is going to be a really terrible rut to stay in for much longer.

05. Complete a project from Pinterest
Here’s where y’all come in with this one. I am literally the most indecisive person in the world. So having Pinterest as a source of inspiration is kind of stupid and really crippling. Analysis paralysis, if you will. Here are my beauty diy & regular diy boards (follow me!)… any suggestions on things I should make? Bonus if the total cost of the project is under $15 haha.

06. Go on a hike
It’s been a REALLY LONG TIME since I’ve gone hiking on the regular. Not only will it count as part of my exercising, but all of that fresh air is really good for me 😀

07. Clean my room before bed every night for 2 weeks 
08. Document an ordinary day in pictures
09. Drink enough water 50% of the month
10. Drop my credit card debt by 60% (the magic number would be $279.66)

February 1, 2017

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the non-romantic

Here’s the conundrum I’m in. I love Valentine’s Day. L-O-V-E it. Or like Ashlee Simpson once sang, “L-O,L-O,L-O-V-E” it. Pink, sparkles, hearts, glitter, swirly things, flowers, candy… yeah that is UNDOUBTEDLY my kind of holiday!

Buuuuttttt. I’m not really a romantic. I cringe at romance scenes (think the one-on-one dinner dates on The Bachelor. Those things STRESS. ME. OUT). The Notebook gave me so much anxiety because they were just so enamored with each other it made me feel really anxious.

But then again, I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY.

So I present to you some gift ideas you could give on Valentine’s Day to someone who is not a romantic.


Places to go, people to see, things to do… with Pinterest being the ultimate bucket list of what we wish we could do, I think we all have a running list in our minds of what we’d do if we had: time, money, someone to go with or figure out the details, etc. A few weeks ago, Justen and I bought an Elephant Encounter on Groupon so that I could TOUCH AN ELEPHANT (MY DREAM AND SOMETHING ON MY 101 LIST). Groupon is FULL of affordable things you can do with someone to make them feel special, try something new, and show them you love them. Do me a favor, and if you’re going to buy through Groupon… go through eBates, where you can get 7%ish cash back. If you don’t want to buy something, look up a hike. Exercise + fresh air + limited technology = wining combo!


I know this is a REALLY unpopular one because APPARENTLY gift cards are “impersonal,” but I LOVE gift cards. If I get a gift card to a place I love, like… idk…. TARGET, I get SO EXCITED because I’ll hold on to it until I see something I REALLY want and wouldn’t buy without the gift card. If it’s to a place I’m not familiar with, I love that I get to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. It’s like the experiences in a way, but giving the other person a little more freedom. Have you heard of Seashells? It’s a site where you can buy gift cards and get cash back. Check out Seashells before you buy a gift card. It will put some money in your pocket just for buying a gift card! and side note: you can stack a gift card from Seashells with an Ebates purchase, and I am 100% serious. Join Seashells and use the code mw1llubX to get $5 when you sign up!


You might be like.. time coupons, what the heck? but hear me out. We live in a time where EVERYONE is stressed and busy and rushed and wants to do all the things “if I could only get time,” and I want to encourage you to give the gift of TIME. This isn’t like a romantic coupon book or anything, it’s literally a handwritten note that entitles the bearer to…. IDK, because I’m not the person you are giving the coupons to. Here are some ideas:

  • Taking care of dinner when they’ve had a bad day.
  • Helping organize papers.
  • An evening with no phones/computers/ipads/etc.
  • Getting to choose the movie when you can’t decide together.
  • A car wash

Those are just some ideas. I wrote more on my $0 gift guide I published a few years ago.


I love games, and I’m not sure when I became one of those people. I love board games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride (I feel like those are really basic games), and Justen and I fell in love with Monopoly Deal over Labor Day weekend. I recently received the Personalogy Family Fun Card Game to try out, and it would be a great Valentine’s Day option, especially for families. It’s a fun how-well-do-you-know-me game where players try to guess each other’s answers. Here’s a little more about it:

A Laugh-out-loud discovery card game for the family (ideal for kids 7-11). Brings families together instantly – the playful, heart-warming and silly questions gets everyone talking, laughing and having fun! Questions have multiple choice answers to make it easy for kids. Play at family meals or game night.Discover something new about your family. perfect for birthday or holiday parties, family gatherings, A perfect antidote for traveling with kids, road trips, and plane rides. The speciality box is designed to be small enough to put in your purse, backpack or glove box. Cards are the same size as a regular deck of playing cards. Many of the questions were co-created by kids 7-11. Three ways to play, with or without points and can be played in teams. 122 fun, silly, laugh-out-loud and memorable questions and even more surprising answers. Made Amazon’s Best Sellers Top 100 Card Games for 2015! Enjoy!

Learn more on PersonalogyGame.com // Purchase on Amazon: Family Edition / Party Edition

Justen and I recently went on a hike and we threw the game in his backpack to play as we hiked. Some of the questions were no brainers, like what color would I be. Others were a little… um… stumpier. 🙂

I love that you can take the box with you anywhere to get a conversation going in any situation where you would need an ice breaker. I’ll definitely be keeping these in my car so that if there’s ever a lull in conversation we can have a way to keep talking.

ps: Bald eagle + red/pink, duh.


Obviously I had to end with this one, because when it doubt, Starbucks it out. 😀

What about y’all? Are you romantics or not? What do you do for Valentine’s Day? Last year I was in Nashville, so this will be my first Valentine’s Day with Justen!

Don’t forget to check out Personalogy!

January 30, 2017

Happen to your life.

When I was snowed in, I was faced with the harsh reality of how I spend my time. I’d assumed that I’d naturally fall into the pattern of working hard on my blog because I had so much time to spare, nowhere to go and GREAT natural lighting (thank you snow). Instead, I finished binge watching two shows on Netflix, managed to go without a shower for way longer than I’d like to admit and barely scraped together one post on my blog.

I woke up, did nothing all day, went to sleep, rinse wash and repeat.

I think that’s really reflective of how many of us view life. We just let it happen to us, as if we have no say in the whole thing. Last year I gained a bunch of weight and I hate it and it sucks, but at the end of the day nobody held me at gunpoint and forced a cookie in my mouth, nor did they chain me down and prevent me from exercising.

The same with my finances, with my emotional and intellectual health, with my job, with my friendships.

Nobody is forcing me to operate how I’ve always operated with these things. I have these days where I realize I’m so unhappy with the way things are. I’m unhappy with my weight, with the amount of stuff I have, with my financial situation, with how my time slips through my fingers, with months that pass with nothing to show for it. The more I realize these things, the more I really start to identify the cracks in my life, the more I realize that I actually have the power to change things.


I have a little sign in my bedroom that says, “there’s no way I was born to just pay bills and die,” and I think we all need to remember that a little bit more. Life is so much more than treading water until you can stop working. It’s more than saying “I guess I’ll just do it tomorrow,” knowing full well that tomorrow you’ll let your feelings justify your lack of motivation.

There is a way to happen to your life instead of just letting your life happen to you.

Our culture seems to thrive on the unhappiness of our people. Buy more, be more, spend more, have more, want more. More stuff, more love, more beauty, more youth, more money, more space in a house, more time. We are bombarded with images, slogans and campaigns that are based on convincing us we aren’t complete until we (insert thing that benefits the messenger). It’s a business, I get it, but it preys on the insecurities and unhappiness of the people. and over and over we buy into it.

This is the year that we can actually live life on purpose. By now the resolutions have probably worn off and we’re back to being the same person we were on December 27th, eagerly awaiting a chance to change. This is part of why I brought back my monthly goals, so I can have small actionable steps to turn this ship around.

I’m ready to happen to my life, because when my life just happens I spend days zoned out with absolutely nothing to show for it.


January 27, 2017