Saturday, August 31, 2013

Choosing my Perfect Match




Okay, I'm pretty sure I have mentioned how bad I have been wanting a DSLR camera. I literally can't stop thinking about anything else other than a new camera. I'm constantly looking for good deals and something that would be affordable. And I've gotten to the point I'm not real sure what to buy.

Recently, a person I work with brought their new Canon Rebel T3i to work and let me play with it for a little bit. He showed me how to operate it and let me take a few pictures and I must say I was IN LOVE! So every since then I have been set on buying a T3i, until I finally sign papers on my land and was welcomed into the world of debt.

So thanks to this new life of living with debt, I don't really want to fork out $600 on a T3i if I'm not even sure how much I'll  use it, and if I'll ever figure out how to use it. Therefore I've been thinking about going with a slightly used cheaper option.

I have been considering a Canon T3, or a XSI. I thought about a T2i for a little bit but decided if I was going to fork out that kind of money, I might as well spend a little extra and get the T3i.

So let me hear some of your opinions...

I don't think the T3 would be much of a noticeable difference to someone who has never owned a DSLR, but I have never even messed with a canon XSi.

What would you all do?!?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Finish College without Student Loan Debt



Finishing college without student loans is possible! You can make it work. I am entering my 6th year of college. 12 Full semesters and several summer classes are in the book, and I literally  have not a dimes worth of debt from Student Loans. I don't want to sound braggy, I just want to help other college students save themselves from the high interest rates of Student Loans.  Here's some of my tips on how to save yourself from student loans...

1. Plan ahead. 
This applies more for high school students. During high school you have got to plan for college even if you don't want to go right then. Make good grades in high school because guess what, you may get paid for them.  Also those A's and B's you are making in your classes, benefit you greatly when it comes to applying for scholarships. The first thing they want to know is what's your GPA?

2. Apply for Scholarships
They really pushed us to apply for scholarships when I was in High School so of course I did. I received enough scholarships my freshman and sophomore year of college, I didn't pay one dime to the college and I got a pretty large refund check back.  Here's my cry, College Students KEEP APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS! This is free money ya'll.  If you qualify as an applicant, apply. If your not sure if you qualify, apply anyhow. Six years into college I'm still applying for scholarships, and I'm still receiving them.  Focus more on local scholarships, say through your employer or your parents employer.  My grandfather is in a hunting club, my cousin and I applied for a scholarship that was offered and we both received $1,000 each because we were the only two who applied. Moral of the Story, focus on local and ask everyone if they offer any scholarships!

3. Save those refund checks
When I first started school, I was receiving so many scholarships I was getting some pretty large refund checks in the mail. So what did I do, opened a savings account and deposited those babies.  That money is way better in that savings account than extra clothes would be in my closet.  Plus when I'm done with school, whatever is left can go to something big like a new car or down payment on a house. Plan for the future ya'll!

4. Check for government assisted programs
I never qualified for any of the income based Pell grants or financial aid.  However when I was finishing high school, Kentucky rewarded you for so much money every semester you had an good grade in a class. For instance, I made an A in math I received $600, made a B in English I received $400. When you started college, whatever amount of money was saved up, you received over 4 years.  Which helped greatly. So check out your government programs, your state may have some great assistance.

5.Work
I have had a part time job since I was 16 years old, and I'm sure many of you readers have too. College students put a little bit of your paycheck in your savings and pay that towards your college degree.  If you saved $50 a week, in 12 weeks you would have $600 dollars saved up. That would be a pretty good chunk of your tuition you wouldn't have to worry about.

6. Check your employer for tuition reimbursement programs.
If you are employed say at a hospital and you want to become a nurse. Most likely that hospital will pay for your tuition in agreement that you will work for them for a stated amount of time. I have recently signed up for this type of program.  Some people say they don't want the contract to work at the same place for so long but the way I look at it, is either way you will have to pay for it. If you don't sign up you'll have to pay for your tuition, if you do sign up and decide to quit you'll still have to pay for your tuition. So why not just sign up.

7. Live at home
College Freshman are so excited to get away from their parents, live on their own, take on new responsibility. Let me inform you, I don't regret living at home during college at all. So many of my classmates absolutely hated living in a dorm and ended up staying at home 99% of the time anyway.  Just save the money and live at home at least another year or two, if you can. I promise you'll thank me.

8. Rent text books
I have went 5 years buying my text books. Never new and never from the university bookstore. I have saved money compared to what I would have had to spent if I bought them from the book store but renting the text book is SO much cheaper. I rented a $60 used textbook for $20 through amazon. Free shipping to me and Free shipping back to them. You can't beat that!

9. Take General Ed at Tech School if possible.
I completed a large portion of my education at a tech school and transferred to a large university later. I saved well over $3,000 a semester just by going to a tech school. It's the exact same class so why not? Word of advice, make sure the classes will transfer to the university you want to attend.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lucky Charms Chex Mix


My favorite cereal when I was a little girl was Lucky Charms.  Who wouldn't love a bowl full of sugar and marshmallows! So you could imagine my excitement when I ran across this super easy recipe and the main ingredient was Lucky Charms.  If you love Lucky Charms, you've got to give this recipe a try!



Here's what you'll need.


A box of Lucky charms Cereal
A box of Vanilla Chex Cereal
Sprinkles and Nestle Premier White Chips


Instructions:
 Pour out about 3 cups of Lucky Charms Cereal and pick out Marshmallows.
Set Marshmallows aside, you'll use them later.
Mix equal amount of Chex cereal with Lucky Charms cereal in a bowl.
Microwave white vanilla baking chips until it can be stirred smooth. Pour over cereal mixture in large bowl; toss to evenly coat.
Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet lined with foil or waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.
Toss in the marshmallows and enjoy!


There you have it. I hope you enjoy it!

Linking up for Weekend Potluck , Weekend Wonders , Saturday Dishes , Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Big Annoucement!

If you follow me on instagram, you probably already know that I have marked off the second item of my 30 before 30 list!  Yea, that's right...

I'm officially a PROPERTY OWNER!  I can't retain my excitement! I have only been working on this for 9 months now! Yeeah you heard right, 9 months!  The situation went down a lot like a short sale, had a lot of 3 different liens of large amounts that had to be paid off by the previous owner before I could purchase it.  Now the land is free and clear and all mine!!

There is still a whole lot of cleaning that needs to be done (I've been cleaning up on it some before it was actually mine haha.) And once it is all cleaned up and in great shape I plan on building a nice new house, hopefully in the very near future.  So let the cleaning up, and planning begin!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Carmel Apple Cake

Fall is near... I can taste it!

I'm so excited to fall, I can't hardly stand it. What's better than crisp cool mornings, beautiful mums, pumpkins and Carmel Apples (or is it caramel, who knows?!)!!

Carmel Apples are one of my favorite fall treats, so I thought I could make a cake to get my fall fever started!

I introduce to you the....

This cake is so easy to make! There's only 4 ingredients ya'll!




Ingredients:
1 (18.5oz) Box Yellow Cake Mix
1(21oz) Can Apple Pie Filling
2 Eggs, beaten
1 (12oz) Jar Carmel Ice Cream Topping
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.



In a medium bowl, combine dry cake mix, pie filling, beaten eggs and 1/4 cup caramel topping.

Using an electric or stand mixer, mix on low speed for one to 2 minutes. I wanted my apple chunks to be very small. If you want your apple chunks larger,be careful not to mix too vigorously.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Batter will be thick.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and pour remaining caramel topping over warm cake.
Some of the caramel topping will go over the sides as you spread it out, that's ok!
The warm cake is going to absorb most of the sauce as it begins to cool.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This cake is best served straight from the oven, but it's good when reheated in the microwave.  I like it better warm than room temperature.

There ya'll have it!  Ready for fall, try this cake!!

Recipe adapted from
Gooseberry Patch- The Harvest Table







Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fall Fever

As I am planning at trip to the Smoky Mountains, I find myself experiencing a little fall fever. Whenever I think of the Smokies I think of Fall.

And honestly ya'll, as much as I love summer, I love fall even more! This past week, the mornings have been crisp and cool, reminding me of a morning in October. I'm more than ready to start experiencing all things fall, and to enjoy this season as much as I can!


 
So ya'll, when is it acceptable to start posting fall inspired posts??


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Linking up with Shanna

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off...

...to work we go. That sums up my weekend. but a dolla makes me holla honey boo boo!
But all was good, I had fun doing it. 

Friday I had a day off so I spent my day working on blog stuff, working on a sewing project. (which I will blog about later on), and watching Admissions with Tina Faye that night.  You should go to redbox and pick it up when you get done reading my post.

After work Saturday night, I baked a cake and went to bed. So not much exciting there but the cake was awesome and I'll be sharing that recipe soon.

Sunday, I got to play with a Canon Rebel T3i and now I must have one.  I have a point and shoot wannabe DSLR camera. Seriously, it looks like a DSLR, has manual settings but the pictures look like pure crap. Or I don't know what I'm doing on but I'm going with the camera sucks. Blaming it on the camera sounds a whole lot better.

Anyway back to the good camera, you can take a picture of just about anything and it turns out amazing. Take a picture of these old wooden cars, that are ugly, dirty, and outdate and it looks like a masterpiece. Take a picture of a water bottle, and you have the next Mona Lisa.

So needless to say, when I get some money saved up from this checking account draining month, I will be purchasing that camera.  

Ok, I literally didn't take any pictures this weekend. Yes horrible blogger I know. They would have looked awful anyhow, that's why I need that awesome camera! honey boo boo will just have to work for now!
 
This post will a little more random than I'm sure too. Sorry guys! Hope you enjoyed it!

Linking up for Weekend Shenanigans, This Weekend I,

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Worlds Longest Yard Sale

This past weekend I went on the Worlds Longest Yard Sale for the second time. If you love antiques, old stuff and others peoples junk, you will love this!  I had a blast!


So a little more about the yard sale.  This yard sale spans from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama. That's a total of 690 miles folks!  That's a lot of junk haha! It's called the 127 yard sale.  I don't know how many miles I went on this yard sale, but I spent 12 hours on it!

What I love most is there are so many things you have never seen before.

Like this....

A glass rolling pin.  I had heard of them before but never seen one, so I had to have it

Then I found this quilt and now regret not buying it, it was the prettiest quilt I have ever seen.  If anyone one knows the pattern please let me know!!






























I bought a couple of crocks...





























A doll and doll bed...





























I now regret not making a large list before I left because once I found the few things I was looking for I didn't have anything else to really look for.  I didn't have any cell phone service for the full 12 hours and had no way of looking at Pinterest for ideas!  This is the kind of back country we were in, no cell phone service for 12 whole hours.  AT&T must not realize that road exists.

During the traveling we found this little state park with the beautiful water fall. I had been to this park once before but never seen what actually made it a state park.  I was blinded by all the junk set up I guess haha!



I


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Dr. Scholl's High Heel Insoles

I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say, Everyone loves the look of heels but hates the achy feet after wearing them. Well Women, we can now thank Dr. Scholl's for solving the achy feet problem. High heel comfort insoles have been invented!!

These insoles are made for heels 2" or higher. They are suppose to shift pressure off the ball of your foot, which is wear all my discomfort is when wearing heels. I was pretty skeptical when Influenster sent me these inserts to review. For one I didn't see how anything could make heels actually comfortable. I didn't think they would stay in place and I didn't how they would fit into my heels comfortably. Most of my heels already fit tight enough as it is, I didn't know if I could still get them on my feet with an insert in them.

 So I had to find a high heel shoe that would work for this occasion, and can you believe I only have one pair of open toe heels in my closet! I'm a flats kind of girl. I put these inserts into my Tom Wedges and whoa they felt better already. I wore them to church and couldn't believe how comfortable my foot still was after church let out. I normally have my heels kicked off half way through the sermon, but nope those puppies stayed on the whole time. They stayed in place, my foot was more comfortable and my shoe still fit with them in there.

So I have to say this is a success for Dr. Scholl's. If your heels aren't comfortable, try these out!



Disclaimer: This item was sent to be my Influenster in return for my honest opinion. These opinions are entirely my own.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

God's will is greater than our own.

I originally was going to write a blog post about my weekend and whine about how I had to go 12 hours without a single shred of cell phone signal. Then I received some heart breaking news and decided my post seemed silly and unimportant. I will not be sharing this news because it is not my news to share.

But I will say this....

God had a plan for everything and everyone. When a tragedy happens we always ask why. But it isn't  meant for us to know why. We could never fully comprehend or handle why God does what he does. We must just come to peace with the fact that it was God's will. 


The only words that can bring this family comfort in their time of need are God's words. 



August Goals and July Recap

Okay, I epically failed at July Goals! It was bad, it was real bad!

These were my July Goals.....
1.Try 8 new recipes. 
Oh I got so close on this one. I tried 7 new recipes in July. If I had realized I was that close, I would have made something on July 31st, just so I could have accomplished this goal!
2.Finish my vintage metal chairs I have been working on since last fall.
Haha, yeah right! What was I thinking when I made this a goal. I have made progress but this project was way bigger than I ever thought!
3.Finish painting the deck
Nope didn't finish then one either.  There was some good progress made.  I've got about 1/4th of it painted. I should probably quit typing this blog post now and go paint!
4.Read 2 new books.
Hey guys I actually did do this one! This month I read 90 minutes in heaven, and Room.
 5.Run 3 days a week
I don't think I actually ran 3 days a week, so I technically didn't complete this goal. However I have been running and I can almost run a full mile with no walking. I'm sure someone is laughing at this but considering I couldn't run 10 feet when I started this is pretty amazing in my book haha!
6. Write at least one blogpost a week.
Bada-bing Bada-boom baby! I wrote 12 posts in July so check I completed that goal!

So here it goes....

August Goals
- Paint an accent wall in my room
-Finish Painting the deck 
-Read 3 new books
-Get my office a little more organized
-Keep running
-Write at least 2 blog posts a week
Maybe I can do a little better on my goals this month! Classes starts back up, two co-workers are on maternity leave, and I have a trip planned but I can make it happen right?!?!

Linking up with The Nectar Collective

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hop


Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me, Rena from An Ordinary Housewife and Angie from Snack Cups and Smiles.

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

We would love for you to stop by each of the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Kenya from My Pending Life.

My Pending Life

Here's what she has to say:
"Hi, my name is Kenya and I blog at My Pending Life. I just recently started blogging in March. My sole purpose for starting my blog was to document and share my major life experiences which are still "pending" (hence the name)! I want to be able to document every step of planning a wedding and building a house, having children and whatever else my life might bring. I also want to share some of my random happenings as well! You can expect just about anything on my blog! "

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife and Snack Cups and Smiles. And please don't forget to visit our Featured Host. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me


If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me


We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Recipe Round up

Hi, my name is Kenya and I'm a foodie. Hi Kenya. I absolutely love trying new recipes.  Cooking and trying new recipes is like doing a super easy craft, only better! When your cooking its done in a very short amount of time, then you can enjoy it! See, I told you it was better than an easy craft!

I'm going to share a round up of recipes I tried in July with you and at the end let you know which ones will be added to my Favorite Recipe book.


Cheesy Squash by The Rickett Chronicles

Cheddar Cheese Bread by Katies Cucina

Easy Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream By Myself

Ranch Chicken by The Country Cook

Blackberry Coffee Cake By Tide and Thyme

Pineapple Casserole by The Country Cook

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad by Mommy's Menu

There you have it folks, I tried 7 new recipes this month. It's been a busy month so I'll consider that a success! 

This past month I added Ranch Chicken by the Country Cook and my Easy Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream to my favorites!

Linking up for Marvelous Mondays || Whatever Goes Wednesday

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