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March 2018 Debt Repayment Recap

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This month was all about maintaining. We’ve still been treading water waiting for more hospital bills to roll in. But the good news is that even when we’re paying minimum payments, the number goes down.

Two things have happened behind the scenes this month:

  1. I decided to create Poshmark Paydays for myself. As fun as it is transferring $15 or $20 or $38 dollars a few times a day, it’s made me a little out of touch with how much money I’ve been making. Now I transfer my balance every other Thursday (so it’ll hit on Friday). It helps me feel more like I have a job and less like I’m just casually making side money.
  2. I started squirreling away (small amounts of) money to eventually pay off my phone, which doesn’t allow additional payments. Because it has to be paid in full, I started the process to saving up the $700 to pay it off.

Here’s something really exciting. We’re under $20,000!!!! This month has felt so mundane with our debt repayment that this little victory is exactly what we need to stay the course.

Stephanie’s Phone: 779.02 744.02 {-4.49}
Justen’s Car:  5,619.12  5399.22 {-3.91%}
Stephanie’s Car: $14,144.65 13,647.05{-3.51%}

Total: $20,542.79 19790.29 {-3.66%}

2018 Total Payoff: $23,661.40 $19,790.29 {-16.36%}

 

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Book Reviews Round 1

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Lately I’ve been doing all the reading. I’ve started to take advantage of my library card and I’ve been really diligent about reading more. I thought it would be nice to start doing a little round up of books I’ve been reading lately and what I thought of them. So here are the books I’ve finished reading since 2018 started! I’m on my way to meeting my 2018 goal of reading 20 books this year! I’m over 1/4 of the way there!

Living Well, Spending Less
I’ve read the blog post about how she got rid of her kid’s toys like 15 zillion times, and I love it. This book is okay. I appreciated her journey from being all about couponing for a good deal to realizing you just don’t need most of the stuff you acquire. If you’re fairly new to the whole simplifying/personal finance world, this would be a great entry point. If you’re already in it, consider it good encouragement to stay the course.

 

The Woman in Cabin 10
This book is what sparked my newfound love of my library card. It’s the story of a woman who witnesses a murder on a small boat (like Murder on the Orient Express, but boat) and nobody believes her. She doesn’t know who to trust or believe and everyone is a suspect.I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile so I picked it up and literally read it in one day. It had a great premise, but about 3/4 of the way into the book it just got really absurd and the ending was so unsatisfying. I couldn’t put it down, though!

 

A Stranger in the House
I returned The Woman in Cabin 10 and looked for a book I’d been wanting to read (the Couple Next Door). The library didn’t have it, but they did have another book by the same author, so I picked that one up.After crashing her car into a pole while speeding through the wrong side of town, Karen has no memory of why she was there or what was going on. She and her husband, Tom, try their best to piece together what happened on the night of the accident.It was hard to finish because the writing was so boring. The plot line was okay at best. The twist at the end was alright, but definitely did not redeem the writing or the plot up to that point.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor is a quirky, socially awkward human being who is fine being alone. She and a co-worker have a chance encounter with an elderly man (and save his life!) and it starts a whole new chapter in her life.This book was good when I thought Eleanor was just a quirky, social awkward girl but as the book went on I started to feel sad about Eleanor’s story and how she saw the world. I couldn’t put it down, though. I do recommend this one!
 

#GIRLBOSS
I’ve seen SO MANY PEOPLE post about this book, so when I saw it on the news I was ALL ABOUT IT. I currently have my own reselling business so reading about a woman who built an empire from reselling clothes on eBay was REALLY exciting. It didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was good but I didn’t really LEARN anything and a lot of what was shared was really directly related to her own journey – which is super cool but definitely not my path.

Bachelor Nation
When I heard Amy Kaufman interviewed on my favorite Bachelor podcast (Here to Make Friends), I was SO EXCITED to read her book. She had a lot of insight into the franchise and what goes on behind the scenes. I tried ordering it online but my card was expired and the payment wouldn’t go through. Justen and I were perusing the Amazon Store and as we were walking out I saw this book and lost my freaking mind.
I LOVED this book – just like I speculated, it had a lot of insight into the franchise (and a whole history on reality dating shows!) and I learned a lot that will forever change how I look at the series. I highly recommend if you are a fan of the Bach 🙂 
What are some books you’ve read this year so far?

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March 2018 Goals

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February was a bust. There was a lot of emotional turmoil for myself and people I love, and my goals were put on the back burner in exchange for not losing my ish. I literally feel like I blinked and suddenly it was freaking March.

So whatever. Onward and upwards.

I feel like learning how to effectively set my monthly goals is kind of like learning how to budget. There are things I want to do and accomplish that I’m not currently ready to implement. I’m learning how to say “here’s where I want to be” and then walk all the way back and find the first thing I’d have to do in order to move towards those goals. These were my goals in February:

  1. 50 entries in my gratitude journal
  2. Run 9 miles
  3. Lose 6 lbs
  4. Publish 10 blogs
  5. Send some Valentines
  6. Send 2 care packages using Birchboxes
  7. Watch 5 of the Oscar Best Picture nominees
  8. Try a new recipe
  9. Buy fresh flowers
  10. Read 2 books

4 out of 10. 40%. I need to have a few really great months of goal crushing to catch up on #44 on my 101 list.

march goals // stephanieorefice.net

  1. Read 2 books
    I’ve been doing really well at reading books this year! If I read 2 books a month, I’ll definitely hit my 2018 goal of reading 20 books this year!
  2. 50 entries to gratitude journal
    Finishing a list of 1001 things I’m thankful for is on my 101 in 1001 list, and I’m trying to tackle it small, consistent entries at a time.
  3. Meet FitBit goals 10xs
    In February I wanted to lose 6 lbs. and then emotional turmoil. I realized that “lose weight” isn’t the same as a plan to be more active, which is really something that needs to happen in my life. Hitting my FitBit goals requires me to be more active, so while I’m not going to have a weight goal this month I’m hoping that between this and #6 I can start moving towards being more healthy.
  4. Buy flowers
  5. Try new recipe
  6. Join a gym
    One of the problems I had with running 9 miles last month (putting me 3 months behind on my goal of running 101 miles this year) is that I kept planning on running on my mom’s treadmill and kept not going to my mom’s house to work! So I’m finding solutions to excuses, haha.
  7. Track my spending
  8. List 100 items
  9. Post 6 blogs
  10. Get caught up on Poshmark books
    The past month has had a LOT of sales, and I’m in desperate need of keeping up with my expense/income so I need to get my spreadsheet and receipts organized. We got our taxes done in February and I’m ready to be really organized and on top of things for next year.

Also at the end of this month the year is a quarter of the way over, not to alarm anyone but seriously what the actual heck.

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February Goals

February Goals // stephanieorefice.net

HAPPY FEBRUARY, aka my most favorite month of the year because this is the month of VALENTINE’S DAY! Which is my FAVORITE holiday, in case you didn’t know!

It’s month 2 of 12 for 2018 and I have some stuff to get done. BUT FIRST let’s look back on what stuff I needed to get done in January and how I did on that.

  1. Buy fresh flowers 
  2. No Spend Month
  3. Try a new recipe
  4. Finish the Tone It Up 5-Day Detox
    I can’t. I just… IDK. I wanted to be doing Whole 30 so bad that the TIU detox just never clicked.
  5. Run 9 Miles
    I was planning on running on my mom’s treadmill to accomplish this and I was like NEVER THERE. Things got really busy. I’ll be making up for this the rest of the year, haha.
  6. Finish watching Harry Potter 
  7. Create a signature espresso drink 
  8. Read a book and a book of the Bible
  9. Organize some things. By some things I mean:
  10. Publish 10 blog posts

Boom. 8/10. 80%. I’m on track for accomplishing #44 on my 101 list (which is also my goal for this year). I have to complete 7.5 of my 10 goals every month in order to stay on track. Praise hands emoji right here.

Time for…

February Goals (!!!!)

  1. 50 entries in my gratitude journal
  2. Run 9 miles
  3. Lose 6 lbs
    I realized that if losing weight was a goal for the year, I needed to actually write it down and set goals and work on them because it’s not going to happen on its own.
  4. Publish 10 blogs
  5. Send some Valentines
    Hey if you sent me your address for a Valentine last year and didn’t get it don’t worry I’ll work on that lol 😀
  6. Send 2 care packages using Birchboxes
  7. Watch 5 of the Oscar Best Picture nominees
  8. Try a new recipe
  9. Buy fresh flowers
  10. Read 2 books

When I wrote my January 2018 recap I realized that I’d worked on 11 of my 101 things to do in 1001 days that month, and this month all 10 of my goals would be working on my 101 list, which is exciting! I only crossed off 44 items on my last list and I am SO DETERMINED to cross off ALL of the items on my list this time!

Around the 22nd of each month I start getting SO EXCITED to work on my next month’s goals, especially if I’ve finished most of them. It’s like… I KNOW there are things to do in my life, but I love working through my list of things to do… unless we’re talking about running, because the ONLY reason I’d do that is because it’s on a list. and so this month… I shall do that. Just so I can cross it off and feel ULTRA proud of myself at the end of the month. Plus it’ll help with #3. 😀

How did y’all do on your goals in January and what are your goals for February? Let me know in the comments! <3

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JANUARY 2018

Justen and I started dating two years ago in January, so we got to experience calendar years together, which was so fun. This is our first New Years Day to New Years Eve being married, so I wanted to document it all with monthly little recaps!

J A N U A R Y

january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

Coffee shops visited: 3
Thatchers
Albina Press
Hidden River Roasters

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

4 – Spent the evening with my friend Anna.
5 – Camas First Friday, Clue Edition. Lots of sweets. Went to Hidden River Roaster.
6 – Took a girl I know shopping at Target, babysat for our friends.
7 – Justen & Andrew’s birthday party.
10 – I met up with Jackeline from Jarmendjai at Albina Press for great coffee + great convo. 2 years since we met. Stopped at Thatcher’s, where we met.
11 – Adriana came over + we exchanged Christmas gifts and watched Pitch Perfect
12 – Went to Heathen Brewing for Justen’s birthday dinner
13 – We went to Seattle for Bee + Kat’s Harry Potter themed wedding. Stopped at the Starbucks Reserve.

january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

14 – Baby Lauren was born!
18 – Our 2nd dating anniversary. Justen used his birthday money to take us to Red Robin.
27 – Drove to Bainbridge Island for Auden’s 2nd birthday.
29 – Coffee with my dad, Bachelor with Maria.
30 – Coffee with my friend Marlis. Budget meeting dinner at Cheesecake Factory.

the woman in cabin 10 // january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

Books read: Living Well, Spending Less and The Woman in Cabin 10.

Blog posts written:

Things accomplished from my 101 in 1001 list

harry potter night // january 2018 // stephanieorefice.net

  • No spend month (#6) *FINISHED!
  • Reviewed 2 months of Birchboxes (#39)
  • Posted 10 new blog posts (#40)
  • Started Project 12 (#42)
  • Visited 2 coffee shops (#47)
  • Created a signature espresso drink (#48) *FINISHED!
  • Tried a new recipe (#50)
  • Read 2 books (#57)
  • Started my empty shelf to keep books I read (#58)
  • Finished watching the Harry Potter series (#61) *FINISHED!
  • Bought fresh flowers (#68)

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January Goals: Organize bathroom closet

This is so dumb. Like I’m actually sitting here, 8:22 am with a cup of coffee and the rain dripping on the roof, thinking about how literally dumb this blog post is. But here’s the thing. I want to celebrate the little tiny successes in life because nobody is going to throw me a party because I organized something.

BUT I AM SO PROUD.

Also judge me for all the beauty products, I don’t care. Actually I think your judging is probably super valid. I said I wasn’t bringing samples to our apartment and lo and behold they snuck their way in.

Can I just throw out a non-rhetorical question?

Where do beauty bloggers keep all their stuff?

Anyone else feel me on this???? I watch people unboxing crap and I’m like… what are you gonna do with that? Where are you gonna put it? Like I’ll never throw away a bottle of shampoo because give me enough time and I WILL USE IT. But full sized gels and face masks and stuff? What do they do with it all?

Anyway, I’m not a beauty blogger, I’m just a Birchbox Subscriber and someone who has collected far too many samples of hair products for being a person who blow dries their hair 2xs a month and rarely styles it beyond a bobby pin. But still I keep my little bottles of product to one day use up.

See why the Empties Posts are so important? When I finally use something up, I need to stand on the tallest mountain I can find (which I guess is my blog) and shout it from the mountaintops.

My gosh. This is a really long-winded intro to the actual point of this post.

In our bathroom we have this cabinet that kind of became a catch-all for anything that entered into our bathroom. It was like one giant pile of stuff. I put on my January goals that I wanted to organize some things* and this was one of the things.

I’m reading a book about simplifying life and it challenged the reader to NOT BUY ORGANIZATION STUFF while cleaning out their house because it’s just bringing more stuff in and finding new ways to rearrange/hide the clutter. So I decided that I’d just kind of have to embrace the current state of my bottles of products and still organize with what I had… which was space.

Here, my friends, is the before.

This is the cabinet over the toilet and the cabinet in the bathroom. We don’t have counters in our bathroom so this is what we get.

I started with the cabinet above the toilet because it’s one I see every single day. Here’s the before:

and then the after:

We keep out a LOT of our daily products. At some point I might transition this stuff over to cute little baskets or something, but for now I love being able to grab products and be able to see them right away.

Moving on to the big cabinet. Because the door closes, it’s been so easy to just throw stuff in and close the door. and yeah, this is where we’ve decided to keep our candles, lol.

Close up on the top two shelves. The top is candles and paper good overstock. Organized in a really nice way, too. And a shower curtain liner. and other things.

The second shelf is the one that gets used the most often. Spare shampoos, my daily skincare + haircare products, our toothbrushes and toothpaste. Lots of stuff and I had no idea what was all in there.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I took the candles out of the plastic tub and stacked them. I burn candles ALL OF THE TIME, so when one goes out, it’s easy to grab another one to replace it. Organized the toilet paper and kleenex and such. I COULD get boxes, but I do better seeing everything.

On the second shelf, I took things out of the box and laid them out so I could see them better. I left two baskets in the back – one for often used (but not daily) products, and one for hair products & hair brushes. That little jar is full of Birchbox skin/hair care samples, and the two empty soap bottles is because I was waiting for refills. It’s been so much easier to keep track of things because boxes aren’t hiding them.

The bottom two shelves are towels/washcloths…. catchalls? and then cleaning supplies and hair stylers and boxes of empties and feminine hygiene products.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Once I found places for the random things in this shelf, it was so much easier to organize. The one thing I’ve changed is that I’ve turned the hand towels around. I prefer to display the folded edges of towels because they look less messy, and looking at this picture helped me see that!

That box has the styling products and various other bathroom related chargers, and then our cleaning supplies were put in the little plastic tub that used to hold the candles. That way we can pull it out and get what we need!

On the other side of the bathroom is the medicine cabinet that keeps our medicines and my makeup. It’s been SO HARD to get organized. I have these little pails but they feel like they never work, and I realized that the clear little tub was KILLING ME, because I’d take something out of the white pail and then throw it in the tub and have to dig it out again.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

In addition to an EXTREME purge of things I don’t need/want, I took the time to organize all of the makeup products. The bottom container has ALL of my face products – brushes and sponges, primers, blush, powder. The top two are divided into eye products and lip products. I put all of the medicine together (spot the Miralax, thanks from when I got my gallbladder taken out).

It’s ACTUALLY been maintainable, too! That’s the biggest thing. I take out the containers one at a time and put everything away before I move on to the next one.

 

It’s ultra not Pinteresty. One day I might be able to get there, but right now it functions well, I feel less overwhelmed and I can find what I need. I do think that if I could ever pull this off, I’d be on it 1000%… what about y’all?

(found here)

 

Anyway y’all I gotta go cross some things off of my January to-do list. See y’all around soon.

 

 

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