Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Resolutions: My Budget Binder


Bonjour!

As with tomorrow being NYE, I felt now was a good time to introduce my Budget Binder as a way to keep financial resolutions more easily achievable. As many of you know, I have a habit of being a little disorganized (hence the occasional irregular breaks between posts). The ringing in of 2017 has thus brought with it new attempts at resolutions that I feel are more obtainable for me- #1 being organization- and hopefully for you as well!

I first started by finding a binder that would be large enough to fit pouches, envelopes, and who-knows-how-many pages (the dollar store provided a few choices).



Next, I devoted a large portion of my life to designing covers for my Income, Spending, Student Loans, and Savings sections, filler pages for each, and cloning the filler pages into every major color on this planet. After that, I was so sick of looking at the graphics that I put it away for a week. :) When I felt ready to open it again, I filled the inner side of the binder with coupons and an accompanying label so that they would be easily accessible.



I knew I would need some sort of envelope or pouch to hold receipts and other miscellaneous things relating to the budget, and I found quite stylish 2 pocket pouches at Office Depot for under a dollar. I stocked up with 12 or more i.c.of e.



Staying on track with monthly deadlines and bi-monthly paydates requires a calendar, so I searched on Google to find a printable 2017 calendar as well as ones for each month. By highlighting days requiring some sort of financial action, I can see exactly what to do and when to do it.



With Christmas being right around the corner at the time, I also created a page for holidays that allows me to document who I need to buy for, how much to spend, and what I buy/how much it is. These include Christmas (as mentioned), Valentine's Day, and Birthdays.


It was a lot of work, circles, and cloning, but eventually it all came together! Now I just have to motivate myself to keep up with it. ;)

Below you will (hopefully) find a link to the Budget Binder inserts, which are free to download, print, and share (crediting is always nice though :) ). The colors are interchangeable, so you can switch out colors every month, match the filler pages to the cover pages, etc. Throughout the year, I might see a need to add a page currently not in there, so stay tuned!




As always,
Keep swimming and HNY! (Happy New Year)

xoxo,
Sara

Friday, December 23, 2016

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Bonjour!







 


I can't believe there are only 2 more days until Christmas!

As the age-old cliché goes, "my, how the time flies!". It seems surreal to think that fall was only last month, and summer was only a few months before that; realizing that the new year begins in just a couple weeks is even more incredible. 2016 has been full of surprises, that much is certain. Dreams have been brought to reality, goals have been accomplished, and life has had more purpose than perhaps it ever has. Of course there have been briars and brambles that pull me back by the sweater, roots that suddenly appear out of nowhere and trip me by the boot, but with each challenge there has been a solution, a hand that grasps mine and pulls me back to my feet. There has been a support system and a foundation to build on. A cat whose purr is never inconsistent. And of course, there has been Hulu. Lattes. Cinnamon-flavored Scentsy bars. Pandora. Sunsets. Snapshots of good times. Little things that make the world of difference and brighten a somewhat soggy day. And 2017 will bring more little things. Things that will make life nothing if not more magical. :)

Merry Christmas, Beaus and Belles!

Navy Coat: Zulily | Pink Head Wrap: Forever 21| Striped Tee: Gifted | Pink Bow Skirt: Romwe | Lace-Up Fur Boots: Rue 21 | Leather Gloves: Old Navy

xoxoxoxoxo,
Sara

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Someday My Prince Will Come (A Snow White Cosplay)












Bonjour!

As promised, here are the (albeit belated) pictures from this year's Halloween costume (or as I have taken to calling it, cosplay). Surprisingly, they turned out really well despite having worn the costume all day at work, having to avoid the random people walking through, and wearing non-walking flats. I was never really into cosplay and costuming that much prior to this year, when I got to attend my first comic con as Agent Carter. Since then, I have been more eager to take on different characters and see what kind of twist I could put on them (you may have also seen my Belle interpretation on Instagram). I've got a few characters in mind for my next cosplay, but I'm still working on the finishing touches, so stay tuned. :)

Until then, my little birds!

Navy Cardigan/Lemon Pleated Skirt: Thrifted | Belt: Online (can't remember exactly which site) | Red Top: Shop in Florida

xoxo,
Snow White (aka Sara)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Caution: Political Content!


Bonjour friends!

I feel kind of bad that I haven't posted in a while and that when I finally do it's POLITICS OF ALL STINKING THINGS!!! Seriously I really really dislike talking about politics. I'm going to post this outfront as a disclaimer because I truly love you all and hate the fact that I'm about to post my opinion which many many people disagree with (trust me, I know some people think it's awful). I hope that you will just remember that I avoid talking about these things because they are controversial and I dearly despise controversy, but that I want to shed a little light on my perspective on current events in the hope that it might help in some way, somewhere, at some time, some person. Plus it helps me. And in case I didn't make this clear, I understand that my opinion is unpopular in many circles. I also understand that it's what I believe, and what people believe is valuable, even if only to them. So here goes, an excerpt (actually the whole post) that I dared to plague my Facebook friends with. Yes, it's long. I promise it's worth it at the end. And at least you don't have to read it on Facebook. :)

Please feel free to react accordingly while bearing in mind that we all have our own perspectives AND feelings. After all, I did try to warn you at the very very beginning of this post. :)

P.S. If I survive this, I promise to post my Halloween pictures (which I think are among my best ones yet) within the next week.

(a picture to break up the upcoming monotony of Default Font and to remind you that I love you even if we disagree :) )

Via Facebook:

     As much as I have tried to avoid going political here in the midst of everyone else going politically crazy (on both sides), it's hard to stay quiet when people act as if the country is A) ending, or B) going in a great direction. So even if you think you won't agree with me, I ask that you give me a chance to offer my perspective (particularly if you haven't hesitated to give me yours). Even if you have to skip to the end because everything else is totally not your opinion.:) If you think this is too long and won't read it, please, skip to the end. Also please remember you wouldn't go crazy against Snow White, and I am smiling my nicest smile in that picture.

1. We have a new incoming president who has not been afraid to voice his opinions. He has consequently acquired himself the title of "racist", particularly after he has made some unfounded comments that generalized various groups of people (speaking of his comments about Mexicans especially). I believe those comments were in extremely ill taste and were inappropriate for a leader of a nation which has been founded on the principle of immigration (look at the Pilgrims- they weren't born here) and cultural heritage. It is easy for us to point at Trump and say, "Look at the racism you are causing now", but let's be honest. We've had race problems even with an African American president at the helm. Things have been particularly bad these last couple of years . The problem is not solely headed toward Washington; it's already here, in our cities. Don't blame Trump for the injustices of others. Blame him for not addressing it appropriately. Then we will work together to eliminate it no matter how long it takes.

2. We have a new incoming president who is opposed to abortion, and this has taken feminists by storm. The nation is now headed toward doom and gloom because he doesn't support ending the term of a fetus who has yet to be born. I can't even begin to express my frustration over reactions to this issue, and I will tell you that my vote was painful because someone I trust very little supported an issue that I feel strongly about that the other candidate didn't. Even a person who survives racism daily is better off than a person who doesn't survive at all (it's a terribly simplistic way of putting it, but I feel that it is based on reality. And though I do not face racism daily, I have experienced it as well as have been judged because of other traits. My point remains.) If you have enough responsibility to do the act that creates the baby, you have enough responsibility to love and take care of the consequence for the rest of your life. As women, we have a special job in this world. It is to bring new humans to this life, humans that can make a world of difference. Don't take that lightly. To say "it's my body, I can do what I want" is wrong. Morally and realistically. It's the child's body, and it does not yet have a voice to defend itself. Must a child advocate for its life to its own mother? Prisoners on death row have more rights than that. Mr. Trump's presidency is bittersweet, and one of the only sweet aspects (in my opinion) is that new humans will finally have a chance at life.

3. Mr. Trump is known as "homophobic". Please remember that there are two views on this issue, be they opposite. To disagree with homosexualism and support the traditional family is NOT being homophobic, nor is it being hateful (this is not taking into account any actually terrible things he may have said about people- I haven't followed everything). It's having a different opinion. In my case, I base that opinion upon the Bible, and if you disagree with the Bible, then that is not going to be your only issue with me/others who feel similarly.

4. Many people think we will not be okay (to be honest, I thought we wouldn't be okay with President Obama. We survived.) Maybe we will attract more threats from our enemies these next years, maybe we will tear ourselves apart. But rest assured, this will not be the worst presidency our nation has seen, nor will we be unprepared for whatever Mr. Trump throws at us. Our forefathers have designed a system with failsafes built in in the event that, no matter what happens, a tyrant will not destroy our country. Such failsafes are found in the checks-and-balances system. It is such a powerful move that happened in the rocky birth of a new country, and such foresight that they had to think to protect the future of America in this manner. We are truly blessed by the government that we have (and as crazy as that sounds, it is the truth). Will we still be concerned about what might come out of the woodwork? Of course. Will we make it through? A ridiculous question. We have, and always will, survive.

      I know I have not taken into account everything that factors into the support/opposition of our future president, but that would be egregiously long of a post (moreso than its current length). And while it may seem as if I support the future administration, the reality is that I was terribly disappointed with either candidate. I'm simply trying to make do in the best way I know how.

      In the words of President Obama, Mr. Trump is uniquely unqualified for the presidency. He doesn't deserve it. But neither does anyone else. We have built a country for ourselves out of sacrifice, undying love, unbelievable perseverance, and the hard work of every citizen who came here seeking new life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Something like this is not simply given to one person as a responsibility for four years. We have a duty to our nation as its people to support it, for better or worse, through injustice and prosperity, and always work for a better tomorrow. One person cannot do it alone nor will do it alone.

      So no matter how much you love or despise Donald Trump (I refrain from using the word "hate", after all, isn't that what we want to avoid?) he will be your president. #notmypresident is simply as untrue as it is useless. We need to take the hand that has been dealt us with grace and dignity, no matter how hard that may be, because we ARE Americans. The world may make a laughingstock out of us, but we will make lemonade and still have a high GDP. And we will be the best country in the world because that is our heritage AND our future, if the people choose to make it such. It takes a nation united. And we're the right nation to do it, regardless of the leader.

      Even if you disagree with everything I have said here, that is at least something we can all agree on.

     In short, sorry Canada. I love you, but my loyalty is with my country and my people.


(Now back to regular scheduled programming)

If you read this entire post, congratulations! In honor of the American people and the democratic process, I offer you a free patriotic print redeemable through simplysara04@gmail.com (just let me know you saw this post and I will respond within 3 business days with your prize). If you are not American but just like free prints, thank you. I love you too. (the print will, unfortunately, still be U.S.A.-related). <3

Extra xoxoxoxoxoxo tonight,

Sara

Semper Fi, America.
In God We Trust.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Posh in Paradise: Beach Life

Bonjour!

















Hello again!

As much as I wish I could say this is now, the sad truth is that vacation is done and past. What is still around, however, is the beautiful heat of summer weather that makes you think you could just take the next week off and hit the beach. I am so discombobulated with the temperature outside that I keep forgetting it is actually fall and that I will soon be enjoying wool floppy hats, pumpkin pie, and apple cider. Until then, I think I will just grab some sunglasses, a bottle of orange juice, and hit the lawn chair for some good old-fashioned (yet as safe as possible) suntanning. :)

These pictures were taken at St. Pete's beach in St. Petersburg, Florida. After I had several panic attacks about the height of the water (neck-high is TOO high!), we discovered that there was a sandbar out in the water that housed the best conch shells you could find- and I don't mean the little pebble-y seashells either. I think the tide washed them into a dip in the sand that could not wash them back out. We had a cycle going where we dived when it was calm, anchored ourselves when the hubba bubba waves rolled in, dived again, anchored again until we had a good stash going. All in all, it was a great spot to find some good marine specimens!

It's a good thing I like Fall in the meantime. I'm going to go have me some vacay withdrawal.


What are your thoughts on the arrival of Fall?


Dress: Old Navy | Hat: Jane.com | Flip-Flops/Sunnies: Old

xoxo, Sara