Party across the USA part 1

A few weeks ago I let y’all in on some details from my life: I’m spending the summer in Nashville with the Halters! and Emily and I have driven from Vancouver, Washington HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY! Y’all, it’s SO CRAZY that we’re 1700 miles away from my home because it really doesn’t feel like it!

On our way out of Portland, we stopped at Multnomah Falls which was a really fun start to our cross country road trip.

The drive through the Gorge was so beautiful, and there was the most peaceful little viewpoint right outside of Idaho.

We made our way into Boise for some Boise Fry Company. It was happy hour so we got two small bowls of purple fries (WHAT) for the cost of one. I tried a few of the sauces – fry sauce, BBQ and BLUEBERRY KETCHUP (WHAT!). I ended up just eating them plain because they were that good.

Boise Fry Co // stephanieorefice.net

After that we grabbed coffee and headed to our friend Annie’s house in Emmett, where we stayed for the night. After dinner we went with Annie and her precious girls to a little drive in for ice cream. I had what was basically an M&M blizzard. MY JAM. So good. It was also really good to stay up late talking to Annie – it’s literally been years since we’ve been able to do that!

That night we decided the next day we’d just spend the whole next day on the road to Denver. We stopped by Dutch Bros and got the cutest little messages from the barista who we’d told about our trip.

We passed through so many states! From Idaho we dipped into Utah where we stopped for coffee at literally the RUDEST Starbucks ever. It was like they were inconvenienced by their customers and plus have you EVER known anyone named Stephanie who spells their name like this?!

Whatever though! We passed from Utah into Wyoming, which was the worst of all the states. Just sooooo much boring.

From Wyoming we crossed into Colorado, where the scenery was literally almost immediately different and more beautiful. Driving through Colorado was so amazing. Also the first 40 minutes of Colorado we were rocking  99.9 MPG so that was pretty awesome.

We had this thought…. Chipotle STARTED in Denver, so we should PROBABLY go to the 1st ever Chipotle! We spent all of Colorado thinking about how excited we were for first-ever-Chipotle. We finally pulled up and…

IT WAS CLOSED FOR REMODELING STARTING LAST WEEK OMG WHAT. So naturally by then we were on a Chipotle kick so we went to Chipotle for dinner before heading to our friend Cari’s house, where we were staying for that evening. We were so grateful to have a comfy bed and warm shower after such a long day in the car.

We realized that nobody had said nice things about driving through Kansas so we opted to instead drive through Nebraska which was surprisingly beautiful. We booked a hotel room, woke up and hit the road. My car key FOB ran out of battery which we fixed ourselves (little victories, okay?) and hit the road.

Nebraska was pretty and will forever go down in my memory as the place where I had Dunkin Donuts for the first time. Apparently that’s a big deal that I’ve never had DD but now I’m a real American I guess.

We made our way to Lincoln, Nebraska where we stayed for the night. After checking in to our hotel we went to Cracker Barrel where we literally ordered the front of the menu. Emily had the Chicken campfire meal, I had the beef, and we split the Smores dinner. It was so good and filling.

We got to the hotel, crawled into bed and watched trashy MTV shows until we went to sleep.

You know what’s crazy? It hasn’t really felt like we’re halfway across the country because each day we wake up, get in the same car that’s driven me around Washington, and then we drive. It makes the country seem so much smaller because suddenly it’s all so much more accessible.

My dad keeps saying this is such a special trip because we get to see so much of the country in a way you can only see by car. Ernie said he was excited because we got to see the whole purple mountains and amber waves stuff of the country, and it’s true! We saw the rockies and endless fields and skies that looked like they were straight from a Pixar film.

I never realized until this trip that I would love to see all of the cities in this whole country that I call home, and it’s amazing to me that I’ve lived so much of my life completely unaware of what was connected to me. I’m excited to make our way to Nashville, but I’m also really looking forward to being able to drive through America to get home, again. I might have to take a different route, though, so I can see all new things!

 


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May 26, 2017
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How we saved money on our wedding invitations

I love weddings. Actually. I LOOOOVE weddings. Prior to Pinterest, I bought wedding magazines regularly because I loved looking at all of the beautiful things. In my mind, my wedding would be big and elegant and fancy but somewhere along the way my dreams for my own wedding departed the land of fairytale romance and landed in the realm of frugal reality.

Once we locked in our wedding date, I immediately went online to find wedding invitations. We found some really beautiful ones that totally go with the theme of our wedding. I was so excited about them… until I realized that they were like $1.75 EACH at the cheapest. A huge part of how we’re doing our wedding is that we want to invite EVERYONE, and thinking about sending 500 invitations at $1.75 each… that’s $875! Then I thought, “I’ll just design our own wedding invitations!” and that lasted for about 1.5 hours before I realized I’m actually too lazy to do that.

Cheap Wedding invitations, DIY Wedding invitations // stephanieorefice.net

That’s when we decided to order them and go about it in the most inexpensive way possible. Here’s the way we’ve done that:

ONE // VISTAPRINT

We decided to go with Vistaprint. They always have sales and coupon codes plus we were able to combine it with Ebates and get cash back for our purchase. Their site has a bunch of different invitation designs that would fit a variety of themes, and their bulk prices are really reasonable. If you’re frugal and way less lazy than I am, you can even upload your own designs and they’ll print them. After the 30% off code, we paid $0.46 per printed invitation (they came with envelopes!). We ordered matching return labels, which were $13.38 for 280 (or $.05 each). Total = $.51 per invitation.

TWO // NO SUITE

While the part of me that LOVES receiving mail really wanted RSVP cards, the part of me that LOVES saving money really didn’t want to buy them, so we didn’t. We didn’t include any of the “suite” ideas – RSVP cards, ceremony details, etc. Instead we decided to utilize the back side of the invitation and filled it with those details. We added an RSVP page to justenandstephanie.com (Justen built it – I love it!) and said you could rsvp there or to either of us. The back also has our ceremony and registry information. Boom. One piece of paper.

THREE // ADD YOUR OWN SPECIAL TOUCH

Once we received the invitations, I spent days staring at them and actually wishing they were a little more fancy. They had printed glitter, but no real glitter or shiny gold or anything that made them feel personal. After receiving multiple clear messages that I should not fill each envelope with glitter, I realized I could maybe somehow add a bag of glitter. I looked everywhere for clear envelopes of some sort. They were all too expensive. I carried an invitation in my purse and went into store after store holding it up to treat bags of various sizes and trying to find SOMETHING so that I wouldn’t have to resort to the Pinterest pins I’d seen about making your own envelopes using wax paper because I AM JUST SO LAZY!

Then one day at Party City, I found the perfect size Wilton treat bags and bought a couple hundred. Then I embarked on the journey of finding the stuff to fill the bags with. Did you realize that finding a bulk bag of gold confetti glitter mix isn’t really easy? I finally caved and ordered thousands of sequins from some sequins supplier and then some tissue paper holes from Amazon and sat around and waited. While I was waiting, I discovered a bunch of Target Easter grass, paid $1.69/lb for some and then went home to experiment. I had a random jar of chunky gold glitter, which I then supplemented with more gold glitter and sequins from Target. If you’re doing the math, yes I have way more loose sequins than I can even figure out what to do with.

Thanks to binge watching Are You The One? (don’t get started on my taste in classy television) I was able to sit down and spend HOURS cutting up easter grass and sprinkling that, glitter + sequins into little treat bags, folding them and taping them and then taping them to the top of the invitations with washi tape.

sorry that ones so grainy 

FOUR // HAND DELIVER

Since owning an owl to deliver mail has yet to become a thing in muggle world, and stamps can add up quickly, we’re hand delivering as many invitations as possible. My dad will get all of the invitations for my stepfamily, my mom will keep the ones from her friends, and we’ll make sure to keep the invitations with us when we see people. Stamps add up.

Now that the invitations are starting to be delivered people, it’s starting to become so real. We’re going to promise in front of our friends and family to choose each other every single day, and then we’re going to have a party! I’m excited to continue sharing with you ways we’re saving money on our wedding. 😀


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May 15, 2017
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May Goals

HEY EVERYONE!

Man it feels good to be back blogging again. Honest talk – last week I had this MAJOR meltdown day. I cried and told Justen how I should probably just shut down my blog because I NEVER have time for it. Which is kinda true, but then when I do have a moment to sit down and get some blog posts scheduled, I have so much fun and love it SO MUCH!

I especially love having a blog as a means for keeping track of my goals and sharing what’s going on in my life. I’m definitely not as personal around these parts as I used to be or something would like to be, but I still really enjoy having this blog. I love the goal posts and I’m so glad I brought them back this year.

Time to see how I did on April’s goals and look forward to what I want to accomplish in May.

 

First of all. Speaking of having time for nothing. This month was literally the month of having no time. I found myself waking up early to package Poshmark packages to drop off on my way to work, going to work, coming home, and going to sleep. Wake up, rinse, repeat. I’m struggle bussing it right now. 😀 That said, let’s look at what I’d thought were reasonable April Goals.

April Goals 

  1. Attempt a 5k
  2. Listen to the M-O songs in my iTunes library
  3. Document an ordinary day in pictures
  4. Fly a kite
  5. 3 miles a day for 2 weeks
  6. Finish Krystin’s gift
  7. Start a SRT study
  8. Finish Harry Potter #4 and start #5
  9. Save $750
  10. +100 to my gratitude journal

…I mean, I did better than last month, right?! It sucks to not cross a lot off my list, but at the same time I’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone figure out a time to fly a kite. I did join a StepBet which has also taken up a lot of my time – I’m realizing how NOT active I am, so even though I didn’t do #1 and #5, I have been hitting 13,500 steps 2x a week and 11,000 steps 4x a week for the past month. It’s part of why I’m exhausted all the time 😀 So I have been accomplishing what I wanted, just in a different way.

For May, seeing as how it’s already 10 days into it and I’m just now having a moment to even sit down and blog I’m going to go so easy on myself and I’m going to stray from the list of 10 goals and make it much smaller and much more reasonable.

May Goals // stephanieorefice.net

  1. Get all of my Poshmark closet/supplies organized for when I leave
  2. Order new polymailers from Amazon for Poshmark
  3. Save $600
  4. Finish my new 101 in 1001 list
  5. Clean my room before I leave for Nashville
  6. Finish my StepBet (and get my $40 back!)

Man. I’m excited for a pause from the current flow of life to spend the summer in Nashville. 🙂 What are y’all looking forward to this summer?


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May 10, 2017
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April 2017 Savings Update

In March I saved $1,000 towards our wedding. I realized that I’m actually attempting to cashflow TWO things – one is a wedding and the other is a trip to and from Nashville, where I’ll be spending the summer.

April savings update // stephanieorefice.net

April Savings Goals
Starting: $1,250
Goal: $750
Actual save: $850 (113% of my monthly goal completed)
Total Saved since March: $2,150.04 (43% of my overall goal completed) (that .04 is massive amounts of interest being paid by my bank)

May is going to be hard. I’m only working two weeks in May… AND I need to spend some money at the dentist, and I need to make my car payment, and I need to travel to Nashville. As much as this sucks, I may need to pause my savings for the month in order to fund those things. I’m going to use the extra I paid this month to offset my goal for next month. Instead of a goal of $750 for May, I’m going to work. my. butt. off. to save $600 in addition to the aforementioned expenses.

Wish me luck… I literally have no idea how I’m going to do all of this!…any suggestions?!


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May 2, 2017
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The Poshmark Series: Poshmark vs. other options

Welcome to the second installment of The Poshmark Series, where I’m walking y’all through how to make some moolah on Poshmark. You can read the intro post here, or you can keep scrolling to find out why I recommend Poshmark over other reselling options.

Check out my closet here, and sign up for Poshmark here with my code BWCTE for $5 credit towards your first purchase! 

How Poshmark compares to other selling platforms // stephanieorefice.net

Poshmark VS. ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment store. They send you a big bag, you shove it full of high-quality name brand items and send it in. Prior to them sorting the bag you can pay a fee to have anything they won’t accept returned to you, or you could forgo that expense and they’ll discard the unaccepted clothing. They take the shipping charge off of what your bag is worth and then they give you a ThredUp balance of that amount. After two weeks or so you can redeem it for a visa gift card sent via the mail. The waiting period is probably in hopes that you’ll choose instead to spend it on their site.

ThredUp is better than Poshmark if you have piles of clothing you’re on the verge of donating and making $0. If you have a bunch of clothes you want out of your house ASAP, then ThredUp is the best option for you. You can join with my link and receive off your first purchase.

Poshmark is better than ThredUp if you are wanting to have control of the money you make and you have the time/space to dedicate to clothes you’re waiting to sell. Your items may not sell immediately, but you get to choose the price and you get to control how low you’re willing to sell them.

Here’s why I choose Poshmark over ThredUp: I once found a pair of Athleta leggings at the bins. I only paid 75 cents or so for them. They weren’t in my size, but I thought they were a pretty good find. This was pre-Poshmark for me, so I sent them to ThredUp expecting to make some good money off of it. They gave me $4ish dollars for the leggings, and within 24 hours they had sold them for $54. No. Thank. You.

Poshmark VS. eBay

I have been selling my old Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants on eBay since… well, forever. Most of my sweats came from various thrift stores, so I tend to acquire overflowing drawers full, then I’ll sell a bunch and then re-fill the drawers. Most people know how eBay works, but here’s an overview just in case. You can list your item to sell or auction and it’s seen by a lot of people. Buyers can bid and outbid and they have a bit of a choice over how much they’re willing to pay. You, of course, can set the starting bid or buy it now price.

Where ThredUp is the middle man between buyers and sellers, eBay is less so. You are in charge of determining shipping costs and deciding which shipping method to use and invoicing the buyer, unless you have a set shipping fee.

eBay is better than Poshmark if you want to sell a variety of items. Poshmark is strictly clothing, shoes, accessories & NWT makeup items. If you have lotions, trinkets, etc. eBay is your way to go. It also is more widely known, so your potential audience is much greater.

Poshmark is better than eBay if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping. I’ll talk about this more in a later post, but they charge a flat shipping rate of $6.95 for 2-3 day delivery up to 5 lbs. The buyer automatically pays the shipping cost and your only hassle is making sure you have the correct packaging.

Here’s why I choose Poshmark over eBay: There were a pair of NWT Old Navy jeans that had been sitting in my Poshmark closet, unsold. I’d picked them up at the Bins and I decided I just wanted them gone. Shipping is confusing, and even though I’d weighed the jeans beforehand when I went to buy the postage, I ended up paying almost exactly what the buyer had sent me to cover the whole transaction – meaning I sent away a brand new pair of jeans and made less than a dollar on them. I’m sure there’s a learning curve, but I’m not down to lose a bunch of money while I figure it out.

Poshmark vs Vinted, Mercari, other clothes reselling sites/apps

Vinted is similar to Poshmark, but online. They have forums and encourage a lot of user engagement. There’s just not a huge buyer audience there. There’s a reason you won’t find a J. Crew store in a little Main Street shop in the middle of nowhere. If you’re selling a product you want people to buy, you should probably sell it where the buyers are. This is why so many big name stores have been closing lately. The buyers are not walking into their doors, the buyers are shopping online.

As for the other reselling sites and apps, I just don’t have time to manage that. Cross posting, making sure the inventories are accurate.. I just have not the time. Instead of spreading my energy thin by learning a zillion different selling tools, I’ve chosen to focus on ONE: Poshmark. If you want to learn more, here is a post about selling on Mercari and here is one about selling on Vinted.

So now that I’ve shared with you why I choose to use Poshmark over other platforms, join me next Friday for the next installment in The Poshmark Series, which is going to be all about getting started – the lingo and the basics! As always, hit me up with any questions you may have because the last post in the series is going to be full of YOUR questions!

 

Overall, Poshmark


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April 28, 2017
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