Category Archives: About Me

Board? Yes, please!

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Ahhhh, nothing is as refreshing as taking in a giant, deep breath of mountain air. This post, unfortunately, is coming from a mere elevation of 1170 feet….Oklahoma style. But my memory is still as fresh as the snow I was snowboarding on just a mere 10 days ago. Okay, okay, okay…enough of that. Let’s get real.

The whole trip happened as an act of spontaneity, Boyfriend and I decided to take mini road trip West of Denver to hit the slopes. And did we ever. Maybe I should back up and explain this sudden act of spontaneity… it all began with a snow storm. In Kansas. One that eventually ended up in Oklahoma. Which made me day-dream about skiing. And snowboarding. And then skiing some more. And then snowboarding. (really you should spend one day in my head, I am even indecisive when I day-dream. oy.) Man, I was really missed the mountains. We haven’t been skiing/snowboarding since we bought our house, and we were both having some serious withdrawals. So Boyfriend and I got to talking… I mean we are in our mid-twenties. We are too responsible for our own good. We deserved a little spontaneity in our lives.

OKAY PAUSE: I could probably summarize the entire trip in one paragraph, but how fun would that really be?

OKAY RESUME: First, let me start by stating the obvious: west of Denver is a long ways away. Like really. 10 1/2 hours to be exact. To pass the time we (said I) slept, spoke to each other in the form of questions only, ate a ton of junk food, and ended the trip by me totally dominating Boyfriend in a battle of name that song (80’s hair band style of course). There was a blizzard pouring down on our trip over, so we drove S-L-O-W…which gave me plentyyy of time to figure out of this was going to be a ski trip or a boarding adventure. You see, it has been 2 years since our last trip, and I wasn’t sure if I was up to fine tuning my boarding skills. Trust me, they needed it. And for those of you boarders out there, it’s not as easy as it looks…am I right? I’m not going to lie… snowboarding has a tendency to make me a bit passive aggressive, but I think in a good way (Boyfriend, no comments puhlease). Ya know, in a challenge yourself it’s 2013, kind of way. But in the end, I always always always end up having a blast. So snowboarding it was!

Okay this whole one paragaph isn’t going to work. My apologies. Feel free to skip ahead and look at the pretty pictures. Ooooooooo. Ahhhhhhhh.

 

Village at Copper

Village at Copper

As spontaneous as we think we are (we put together the trip in about a week), we still managed to be overly prepared. Each of us doing some pretty intense research on lift tickets, condo rentals, different mountains located west of Denver, etc… Being prepared helps me sleep at night.

Copper Mountain was the best deal we could find… located only about 80 miles from Denver. It has been getting some fresh snow, it had a ton of trails, and neither one of us had ever been. We were excited. Boyfriend scored an amazing last-minute deal on a condo located at the base of the ski slopes and I found some pretty good deals on lift tickets ($60 each a day, whaaaaaaat?). We had some good juju going our way and it was going to be an excellent 4 day weekend.

Our condo was located in East Village at Copper Mountain, and I honestly believe I could have lived there.  Two bedrooms (though one was locked up and rented separately), three bathrooms (one was included with the locked up bedroom), living room, dining room, kitchen, balcony and a fabulous view.  Don’t believe me about our balcony view?  Check these puppies out…

Balcony View

When looking to the left…

Balcony View 2

When looking to the right…

Ahhhh… isn’t that just wonderful?  It was a GREAT time, I had a blast.  No working, just playing and enjoying some quality time with Boyfriend (and by that I mean racing him down the slopes, he may have been a trooper and let me win a few times).  Boarding down the side of a mountain while humming Red Hot Chili Peppers and pretending to be one bad mama jamma… how can you not have a blast?  Insert some lyric: “I saw God / And I saw the fountains/You and me girl / Sittin’ in the Swiss mountains…” Okay, okay, okay….maybe not the Swiss mountains, but close enough 😉  I miss it already.

Copper Mountain exceeded all of my expectations by a looong shot.  There was a giant village at the bottom of the mountains (right alongside the lifts), that had little shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants.  There were tons of condos, an ice skating rink and just a bazillion things that kept us entertained long after the lifts closed.  Good powder, good weather, good food, good brew and an overall good time.  I couldn’t have asked for  a better long weekend. 🙂

Center Village

Center Village 2

Sometimes you just gotta kick back and enjoy the scenery…  wahoo for spontaneity.

Ahhh.

Ahhh.

Stumble It!

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I’m baaaaaack!

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Hiya hi hi.  Want to know some of the best things about having your very. own. blog?  It’s always there for you.  It never moves on.  It doesn’t mind taking the backseat to your life.  And I’m pretty sure it doesn’t hold a grudge. 

Because blogs are forgiving (especially mine…I’m a noob, remember?), I’m back!

You know how it is when you bump into an old friend – out and about – completely out of the blue…? You have some friends that you want to “bump and run,” (get yo mind outta the gutter) and say your “hey, how ya been’s” and get the heck outta there before you’re stuck talking foreverrrrr when all you can really think about is hopping in the nearest checkout line because Target is starting to become overly crowded and you still haven’t had enough coffee to properly function.  Oh.  That hasn’t ever happened to you?  Um, me either.

And then you have some friends that you bump into, haven’t seen in weeks (or maybe even months) and you can instantly pick up with the last conversation the two of you left off on.  And you genuinely want to get together with them to catch up, even though it feels like you haven’t missed a beat.  Wellllllllll, that’s how I’m pretending I feel with this blog.  Like we are besties.  And he (she?) hasn’t missed a beat.  We haven’t missed a beat. Awe.

Buuuuut, just to do a quick catch up here a five things that you should know about me since the last time you may have heard from me.  (wow, has it really been 6 months? oops.)

1. I’m kind of obsessed with the movie Pitch Perfect.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you probably should or else it’s going to get aca-awkward up in here.

2.  Over Christmas break I was re-introduced to the wild world of Bingo.  That’s right, B-I-N-G-O.  And I’m not going to lie, I’m a BIG fan.  I regularly try to convince innocent souls to whoop it up with me and my 80 year-old comrades.  Boyfriend is also a big fan, another sign that we are meant for each other…. and that we are both prettyyyy nerdy.

3.  We had Christmas at OUR house in 2012!! Our first Christmas in OUR very first house. Ohemgee, it was perfect.  More deets later.

4.  I now say Ba-Zing and Bazinga quiiiiiiite frequently. I’m sorry in advance.

5.  I really, really, really wish I had an uncle Si.

I think that’s all for now.  I’d hate to overwhelm you. 

Hakuna Matata.

Property Virgins

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Well, I hope this isn’t awkward.  Oh – my title? That too.  I was actually referring to the awkward moment when I decided to break my blog’s silence…. I mean really, it’s been a while. Whoops!

So I’m here this evening to tell you a little story.  A story about a girl…and a boy.  You see, these two thought they were ready.  They thought they were prepared.  They were in love.  Yes, they just KNEW it was finally time…….to buy their first property.  🙂  Just what you were thinking, right?

This whole process started at the end of 2010, the same year I graduated.  I was just starting to get a firm grasp on the adulthood and financial responsibility…ya know, paying my own bills which ranged from rent to utilities to my oh-so-wonderful student loans.  This is also about the time I started to get pretty serious into my coupons and savings.  Really, I was a crazed maniac… I try to block out a few months worth of that year, solely because I think there was time when I actually dreamed about coupons and saving money.  Yep, it’s safe to say I had a pretty serious problem.  BUT…as with most bad, there is also good.  And through these coupons I was able to cut our grocery expenses by about 60-75%.  It was a BIG change for me and Boyfriend.  We were seeing it add up in our bank accounts…fast.  So the couponing continued, and so did our savings.  Then we started pinching…pretty seriously.  We almost completely eliminated eating out, we dropped our cable (oh come on it can’t be that big of a surprise, you KNOW nothing is EVER on), and I stopped buying a new pair of shoes every other week.

Then we started to get super serious about our finance.  And renting just reallyyyy irritated us.  I mean really.  Did you know that in the 4 years of renting we spent around $31,000?  You think I’m lying, don’t you?  It’s okay, I won’t hold it against you.  Honestly, I wish I were lying.  But unfortunately (for us), this is a very true statement…actually it’s a very modest statement, as we actually spent a little over $31,000 (between us both) on rent alone…not including utilities over those years.  I can think of about a million things that I’d rather do with $31,000….and rent is not one of them.  So this built-up frustration led to us looking into purchasing a home.  Something that would cost us about the same we were spending in rent each month…but something that offers somewhat of a return of investment in the future.  Yep, we wanted an investment.

So we started the hunt.  We crunched numbers…we looked like creepers/stalkers driving around and looking at houses…and we started to get our game faces on.  It was actually Valentine’s day when I applied for a home loan.  You know with the internet these days, the sky really is the limit.  Boyfriend was in the rental kitchen, cooking me an oh-so-delicious Valentine’s Dinner, and I was sitting at the kitchen table… salivating and applying for a home loan online.  This was it.  Would I even get approved?  Was I asking for too much?  I didn’t know.  We didn’t know.  But we were having a wonderful night…and I had been drinking some pretty darn good wine.  So what the heck?  I mean we had been thinking about it for months anyways…why wait any longer?

DONE!  After hitting submit on the home loan application, I shut down my computer and enjoyed my evening with Boyfriend.

We knew what we wanted, and we thought we knew how much moolah it would take.  Now it was all out on the table and we just had to wait for our response for the lender…which we received within 48 hours.  Within 24 hours of being approved, we started to search for a realtor, as realtors are F-R-E-E for buyers, and you KNOW how we love F-R-E-E.

The realtor that we ended up with, by God’s grace, was literally AMAZING.  She told us about a city grant (free $5000.00!!!) and the MCC tax credit (which is exactly as it sounds).  She had rental properties all over town and had been around the block a time or two.  She was extremely patient and took us throughout DOZENS of homes within our price range… She didn’t push us to our “max” amount, she agreed that we shouldn’t push ourselves financially…I mean come on, we are young and we love to have fun.  Unfortunately moolah is usually a part of the having-fun-process, so it was important that we always had spending money and didn’t have to dedicate every paycheck to our mortgage.

She worked with our “wanted” list, and she helped me grasp the concept of what I could live without (bye-bye gourmet kitchen).  She really was fabulous.  On our second or third trip with our realtor, we ended up touring our soon to be home.  We had seen about 7 or 8 properties that evening, it was after work, we were tired, and I thought that we had already found THE ONE.  Yep, I had already committed to another home…the first one of that evening.  But we decided to go ahead and tour the lineup for the evening just to be sure…and boy, were we glad we did!  By the time we got to the last home, it was dark… So the outside looked good, or at least we thought.  And when we walked in the door, we had that awkward moment of not really knowing where the light switch is, because it’s someone else’s house….and as soon as the light the hit the walls I literally stopped in my tracks.  IN HORROR.  My eyes couldn’t stop wandering around…there was just so much CRAP, and it was EVERYWHERE!  Up the 13 foot walls….all of the floors…on the countertops…EVERYWHERE.  Though my jaw was dropping because of the clutter, Boyfriend’s jaw was dropping because he immediately saw the potential.

When I finally got around to taking my eyes off of the walls, floor and countertops I took a glimpse of Boyfriend and saw the look on his face.  It was one that I don’t get to see very often, one very similar to that Christmas morning look.  In that instant I knew I would be fighting for a losing battle if I tried talking him out of this one.  And as we toured the home, my eyes really started to open too.  Especially after walking through the walk-in closet! 🙂

The rest is really history….We made an offer, the owner turned down our offer and countered it, we countered the owner’s counter, we received a counter to our counter of the owner’s first counter, and finally we gave in…we knew we wouldn’t be happy in any other house.  We closed on our house on April 11th, 2011.   Less than TWO MONTHS after we applied for our home loan.

Now you are all a part of our journey in turning this house into our home!!

(Right after the closing I changed clothes and ran to the lawn to rip down the sign)

My Encounter With the Craigslist Killer

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Soooooo.  I kinda made an oopsie.  A rather large one, too.  Before I get started on that, maybe I should ask…how has everyone else’s day been? Good? Great! Now let me explain my little “situation.”

On Father’s Day a few weeks ago, me and my beloved sisters promised my dad tickets to a Boston concert on July 14th (yep, last night).  Wellllllllll, let me just start by saying that morning I had quite a lot on my mind.  First of all, this promise occurred at an iHop, fairly early that particular Sunday morning.  We had all agreed to meet there to take Dad out for breakfast (he’s a pretty big fan of stuffed french toast).  Plus it was the only time I would get to see him all day, because Boyfriend and I were on our way to the airport, heading to Vegas.  So the “note to self” to buy my dad tickets to this concert went right in-between the thoughts of “did I pack my blue swimsuit” and “crap, how many liquid items do I have in my purse for security to measure”…you could say it definitely wasn’t top of my list.

So a few weeks pass by, and what do you know it’s concert week.  absent-mindedly I assure myself there will be PLENTY of Boston tickets left for me to buy…I’ll just do it when I get to work.  Then it was Tuesday before I knew it.  Then Wednesday.  Yep, then Thursday. CRAP!  Sold Out?!? What the?!? Surely there HAS to be mistake.

Oh. No.

My dad is going to be so let down.

I couldn’t do this to him.

So what do I do? Check ticket scalpers across the OKC-metro area…and what do I find? Notta.  Then I checked eBay. Nothing.  Great, what was I going to do now? LIGHTBULB! Craigslist! And sure enough I find a few tickets… VIP tickets even (trust me, these are better tickets then I would have bought in the first place… sorry Dad, I was kinda leaning towards General Admission).  The only problem, they were over an hour away, and the seller was refusing to meet… anywhere.  Well at least I had an option.  Then another set comes up for sale…and they are in the city, which is great!  So I e-mail them, yes they still had the tickets and would be able to meet me that night.  They said they could meet me in the parking lot.  Whoa whoa whoa. Sketchy much?  And Boyfriend is still outta town doing football camps.  Great.  I definitely needed a sidekick.

Low and behold a friend of mine said she’d go with.  As we were both a little weirded out, not knowing who we were going to be meeting and all we called another friend and told her if she didn’t hear from us in an hour to call the cops.  We gave her our intended location.  The entire drive there was a bit of a blur… All I remember is my dear-ole-friend telling me horror stories about how she has heard that OKC is the center of sex trafficking.  REALLY?!  I mean, really.  Then, out of sheer coincidence I’m sure, my phone rings.  Great, a BLOCKED # is calling.  A little alarmed, I answered the phone and a woman says, “Are you in the parking lot yet?”

I reply, “Nope.”

She sighs, reallllyyyy loud, says something under her breath and asks me how long I’ll be.  I think I will be there in fifteen minutes.  So that’s what I tell her.  She sighs once again and hangs up.  Great.

So in the next fifteen minutes me and my friend go over about 50 different scenarios of what could-happen in this parking lot.  As we begin to pull in, I take note that this is absolutely the darkest parking lot I have EVER been in. Really?! I mean, really.

As we pull in I take note of two vehicles at the veryyyy back of the parking lot all alone.  There is an SUV that a woman is sitting in, and next two it a little 2 door sports car.  The man, who I assume, is driving the car is standing outside of the woman’s SUV talking to her.  As we pull in, I see them both stop talking, while they stare at me.  I find a parking spot (about 4-5 away from those creeps), and wheel in.  Within seconds the guy grabs something from the woman and starts to walk over to my car.  I start to roll down my window, bracing myself for whatever happens…Before I know it I hear the passenger door open and then slam closed.  My friend has gotten OUT of the car to meet these people.  What?! Get back in here!!  Don’t you remember the drive over and all of the scenarios we just discussed?! I grab my wad of cash, like I’m in the mafia or something, take a deep breath and go outside to join everyone.

My friend says something to the guy as I am walking towards them both, he pulls something out of his pocket, hands it to her and they both look at me.  I, being slightly dumbfounded, hand the guy the wad of cash and just stare.  The guy takes the money walks over to his car and him and the SUV leave.  My friend pushes me back to my car, we get in and do the same.  Holy cow.  Was that it? Maybe I should give myself a quick physical.  Nope, no stab wounds.  Oh my gosh, we survived!!

Feeling super excited and giddy with joy, we start our journey home.  Within two minutes my friend squeals, then explains to me that I have two PLATINUM tickets to the Boston concert!  She said the fine print on the backs of the tickets said that they weren’t even sold to public…they were only given to sponsors and radio shows.  AWESOME!  My dad is going to think I’m the best daughter ever!!! (if he only knew.)

So the summary of this story is: I guess not everyone is a Craigslist killer.  Though I still think they could be.  But in the end we survived and got my dad some pretty BOMB tickets!!

Life. Is. Good.

Hello world!

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Welcome to Ever So Thrifty!! A blog I developed for myself, as well as others, to compare notes on our various forms of “thriftiness.”

I’d like to believe that I’m a nice, young girl living in Oklahoma.  I love God, my boyfriend, my family, my friends, my dogs, our HOME and ALL projects! Really…all projects – crafts, home projects, decorating, cooking, crocheting, sewing, gardening and most of all, the art of saving.  See, I tend to be a tad on the frugal side. Okay, slash that… I’m EXTREMELY frugal.  But I blame it on the economy, my penny-pinching dad, my income, my boyfriend’s income… okay screw it. I’m frugal because I’m frugal.  I hate spending money on an item when I know I could have either made it for less, or used a coupon which would have made it cheaper.  It bugs me. REALLY bugs me.  I could have a problem.  But it’s MY problem…and I kind of like it. I can stretch a dollar like no one’s bizz-nazz.

So a little about myself, I’m a 20-something year old and I graduated from THE University of Oklahoma a little over two years ago with a degree that I loved.  At the time.  After graduated I was immediately offered an office job, which I took (and still have), which gave me a sense of financial security.

This financial-security-feeling sort of drugged me and I did the most reasonable next step in life…  If you are, at all, thinking “get married,” then you clearly do not know me.  At all. Nope, I bought a house.  A house that blinded both me and my handy-dandy boyfriend because it offered a very promising vision.  A house we believed (and still believe!) could someday be more than a house, but our HOME.

Our house is the same age as us.  Really. The year it was born, so were we.  Though we are all the same age, Boyfriend and I treat this house as if it were our baby.  Our dogs are treated the same.  So it’s okay if you consider us to be parents… we kind of are.  Emphasis on kind of.

Yep, the dogs are in bed. Under the covers. MY covers.

Long story short is that we started this house project with a whole lot of enthusiasm and what we thought was knowledge and skill.  Little did we know.  Really.  The last year has really been an adventure for us, but we learn new things and start new projects ALL THE TIME.  This blog is sort of our journey.  Our ways of pinching pennies, decorating and designing our home, and figuring out how to make it our own.  There will be a WHOLE lot of DIY obsession, and little tid bits about our lives along the way.

I promise not to filter…you will see it all including the GOOD, the BAD, and even the UGLY.  You will see our adventures and our misadventures throughout these projects.  So please feel free to give us advice, words of encouragement or money.  Haha, not really. But really.  We’d love to know what you think!

Let’s be friends! (Don’t worry we don’t have to be Facebook official…yet) 🙂