Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Sunny Day Rambles


We’ve had five straight days of rain in Washington, DC. Not just rain, but a foggy, gray mist that is little enough to make you look silly holding an umbrella, but still manages to turn your hair into a frizzy mess. Or maybe that’s just my hair? If it’s going to rain, I think it should be a downpour… don’t linger around for five days. Just sayin’.

However today is the first day the sun has come out and I am so happy. I love daylight savings, even though you do lose an hour. There’s just something about driving home after work with the sun still up that lifts a girl’s spirits. And there’s just something about springtime that brings hopeful thoughts of things that are to come.

This is a personal-finance blog, so I’d like to give you a heads’ up that I may be writing more about the personal than the finance part. (Exhibit A: Cake! I saw your comments… recipes to come.) Don’t worry, I don’t need a spending intervention or anything. All is well and I’ll still update you on my money, but I also want to explore a little more creativity with this blog. Hope that’s okay.

That’s all I’ve got today. Happy Tuesday! :)

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Not when you are hosting 90 people at your house!

Last week at my mom’s Celebration Party, our home was filled with sunshine, fresh flowers, old friends, and a plethora of delicious cakes. Surprisingly we had very little leftover. My visit home was so refreshing trip after two long, cold months of winter. It made me long for spring and future happy trips.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! Hooray for longer days!

Update: These photos were taken from my lovely little sister, a professional photographer based in my hometown. She gave me permission to use her photos but I don’t want to credit her publicly because I’m anonymous. However, if you live in North Carolina and are interested in using her services, please email me at myprettypennies{at}hotmail.com. Thanks!

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Wait and See

“Wait and See” has become my new catch phrase. I’ve found myself saying that at least once a day for the last two months to close friends and family members on some pending decisions: “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.” “Who knows, I guess I just have to wait and see.” “Yeah, well… we’ll see.”

Ugh. I’m so tired of saying that. Even though I’m an anonymous blogger, I am a little hesitant sharing personal decisions until they are final. So I’m sorry if this post makes no sense to anyone… but I just needed an outlet to say that waiting is hard and I am ready for things to happen!



I promise to fill you all in whenever I know something. In the meantime, don’t worry… things are good. Wait and see.

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One year ago my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and after months of chemo, surgery and radiation, thankfully today she is a breast cancer survivor!

{sign my sister made for her last chemo}

This Saturday my family is hosting a Celebration Party to thank all the friends and families who fought with us this past year. My mom created an Evite a few months ago, and what started with just a couple dozen invites has turned into 89 people who RSVPed “Yes.” That’s the size of a small wedding! Nevertheless, it should be a great time with lots of southern sunshine, five different kinds of cake, and friendly faces I haven’t seen in months (including my BFF and J!).

Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate life and welcome Spring, don’t you think? Hope everyone else has a great weekend! :)

PS- You guys are AWESOME! I couldn’t believe how many congratulations I got yesterday… thanks so much for all your support!

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…and THAT’S why I have a Car Repair Fund!

The total should be $602.79, which is convenient since I have $630 in my CR fund and there’s a $25 minimum balance in that saving’s account. Isn’t it funny how life happens that way sometimes?

Today I am thankful for:

  • Nice auto technicians I trust.
  • Interviews and the possibility of future decisions.
  • Sunny days that hint spring is coming soon.
  • Hard-core spin classes that kick my booty.
  • Paydays and savings. ‘Nuff said.

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Happy Weekend Ahead!

There are many downsides to long distance relationships–I don’t think I need to reiterate this list since they’re fairly obvious. But one positive thing for LDRs is when you finally get to see the person.

You know the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? I don’t know if that’s necessarily true. I think I would grow just as fond of J if we were living in the same town as we do being apart, but I do turn into a different person after two long, cold months of not seeing each other. For example,  I am currently sitting at my desk at work like I’m a little school girl on Christmas Eve. I check the clock every half hour. All my gal-pal coworkers keep giving me comments about my stellar mood. I have a silly grin that has been plastered on my face since I woke up this morning. Perhaps the saying should be “Absence makes the heart a giddy fool” instead? ;)

Weekend Plans Thus Far: Tonight I have to babysit (because my bank account has diminished to a mere $97), but he will be waiting for me at home when I get off (and I have planned a nice “hello J!” surprise apartment for when he arrives). My roommate will be out of town and we plan to go see Avatar and Valentine’s Day (a his/her movie compromise). Of course besides entertainment, we seem to have brainstormed far more restaurant ideas than there are meals in our weekend so we will attempt to tackle that challenge with gusto.

Aw, yay. I love happy weekend and cannot wait for them to begin!

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Beginning Balance:  $384.80

-$30 gym fee
-$53.53 dining
-$118.84 groceries
-$223 hotel
-$40 for a friend to take a cab and bring me food
-$30.61 gasoline
-$41.32 at Marshall’s for a pan & shirt

+$200 from roommate for hotel
+$50 babysitting cash

Ending Balance: $97.50

Lessons Learned in the last Two Weeks:

  • When the weathermen start using phrases like Snowmageddon, Snowpacalypse and Snoverkill, take them seriously.
  • Make sure to always have candles and matches ready for power outages.
  • Giving sad pathetic eyes to the workers at Giant grocery store goes a long way and can allow you to charge your cell phone that has been dead for hours (if you can handle awkward glances from customers checking out… which you can when you are desperate for outside contact).
  • Shoveling can be a really good workout.
  • When you lose your electricity, don’t think that the fridge will keep anything cold. Put it outside in the snow, or throw it out.
  • Throwing up for two days just may be the key to losing the two pounds that from any other method just refused to leave your body.
  • Get to know your neighbors so you don’t have to pay your friend $40 to taxi to your place to bring you Saltine crackers and ginger ale.
  • Never underestimate the terror of Washington DC traffic. Just because offices and schools are closed doesn’t mean it isn’t still a beast.
  • It’s expensive to replenish your entire freezer/fridge.
  • Having a really terrible two weeks behind you makes any present challenges seem delightful.

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Pardon my absence…

So you’re probably thinking, “Wasn’t DC snowed in all week and work was canceled? Isn’t that more than enough time for MPP to write blog posts?”

Well, yes. That is true. We were pounded with ~30 inches of snow over the last week. However, as anyone who has lived knows, life isn’t always what you plan it to be. Instead of spending nice quiet moments at home watching movies, eating junk food and writing plenty of blog posts, my week was… a bit different.

Here’s a brief recap:

Last Friday: Snow starts in the afternoon and my roommate picks up her boyfriend from the airport.

Midnight: Power goes out. Awesome.

Saturday: Spend a cold day inside reading books and watching the snow fall. I attempt to shovel my car out.  By nightfall, the power is still out, so we dangerously head to a hotel.

Sunday – Monday: Stayed in the hotel.

Tuesday: Snow starts again and my roommate goes home to the South.

Wednesday: I ate a pizza and got food poisoning. I threw up everything, including water for the next 24 hours and passed out in the middle of the bathroom.

Thursday: Woke up feeling like death, but could at least keep water down.

Friday: Same as the day before. Finally felt well enough to get to the doctor and got prescriptions.

Today: I finally feel like myself, albeit a little skinnier (the perks for not eating for two days).

So… I am back. :) Let me just say being stuck in a hotel room as the third wheel and then getting disgusting food poison by myself is not my ideal snowed in week.

Anyone else ready for Spring? ;)

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My Weekend

…be back soon. :)

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It’s that time of the year again: Wedding Season! I arrived home from my vacation over Christmas to find out two of my friends are engaged. I am honored to be a bridesmaid in one of the weddings and am so excited about the fun festivities in the springtime!

However, as we all know, weddings are expensive–whether you’re the bride, in the wedding party or just attending. Here are some things I will probably need to buy in the next six months:

  • Bridesmaid dress ~$150
  • Shoes, makeup, etc. ~$50
  • Shower gifts ~$100
  • Planning showers ~$50
  • Travel costs ~$100
  • Lodging ~$100
  • Wedding gifts ~$130

Wow $680 is a lot of money! I was overestimating on some things, so perhaps I won’t have to spend that much, but I am sure all the little expenses will be at least $500 or so. The wedding I am in is in June and the other one is in September, so at least they aren’t too close together. At this point, I will figure out how I will pay for these things after February; aka: my debt is paid off and I know my tax refund amount.

While I’m on a role adding up future costs, here are some other pending expenses I’ll need soon:

  • Haircut: ~$70 including tip; it’s been way too long!
  • New phone ~$100; My two-year contract runs out this month and I desperately need a new phone. I’m debating to upgrade to a data package, but still am not sure if I want to pay the extra $10 a month.
  • Plane ticket to Atlanta ~$150; This could be part of the wedding costs, but we are probably going to have a bachlorette weekend in Atlanta this spring.

Is anyone else in a wedding party this year? Have you started planning for the costs?

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