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Wall Inspiration

12.15.2014

Since I've officially finished painting all the walls in my home, it's now time to decorate those beautiful bare walls! I've been eyeing many pieces of art on Minted's Art Marketplace to fill the space.  I think my first project will be my master bedroom and bathroom.  Here are a few pieces I absolutely love! I'm excited to finally start decorating, but it's super overwhelming. It's hard for me to decide on my decor style, because I truly like all kinds of decor...vintage, modern, country chic, you name it. For now, I'm leaning on Pinterest to help me funnel all of my ideas and likes in to some sort of style.







What kind of decor style do you prefer? Check out more of Minted's Art here!

PDQ Giveaway

I'm excited to be giving away two $25 gift cards to Cedar Park's newest fast casual restaurants, PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality).  I had the pleasure of dining there with Alex and Turner during their Grand Opening.  It's a very family oriented restaurant that is super fast and reasonably priced, and the food is super fresh and made to order on the spot (no freezers in the entire restaurant).

I loved the crispy chicken tenders with their homemade creamy garlic dipping sauce
Turner obviously loved the french fries and 

Enter below to win one of two $25 gift cards! Winners will be chosen Saturday, 12/20. Good luck!

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#JesseCoulter - No. 1

12.10.2014

I was inspired by Jen's #jlkeverdaystyle Instagram posts to start taking more everyday outfit photos with my phone.  It takes much more time to shoot outside, and is hard to do with the time change.  Alex can now snap a quick pick on my iPhone. My glamorous backdrop....our master bathroom. You can find my outfits on Instagram under the hashtag #JesseCoulter.

Shirt: Gap Outlet. Sweater/Jeans: Old Navy. Boots: Gap.
Shirt: Asos. Jacket: Jcrew Factory. Shoes: Kork Ease via Stella Says Go
Shirt: Jcrew Factory. Sweater: Old Navy. Jeans: Gap. Shoes: TJ Maxx
Shirt: Nordstrom Rack. Cardigan: Kohls. Boots: Clarks
Shirt: JcPenney. Jeans: Old Navy. Boots: Gap
T-Shirt Dress: Cotton On. Cardigan: Kohls. Tights: H&M. Boots: Nine West

Nordstrom $150 Giftcard + Inca Footwear Giveaway!

12.08.2014

imageblogger-giveaway-imageNordstrom Giftcard & Booties Giveawaysecond-group-of-bloggers
 
I've teamed up again with some wonderful bloggers to bring you an extra special giveaway this month! We are giving one lucky winner a pair of adorable Fortress of Inca Booties ($240) value and a $150 Gift Card to Nordstrom. There's nothing wrong with giving yourself a little Christmas gift, right ? The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only and will end on Monday December 15th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday December 16th.
 
Enter below and goodluck!
 
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Our Debt Free Story

12.03.2014

WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!

Alex, Turner and I woke up early this morning and made our final payment to our student loan. We have payed off $45,000 in 3 years. A refreshing feeling washed over us as we let Turner click "Submit", and we squeezed Turner with excitement for the future.  We discovered Dave Ramsey a little over 3 years ago, and decided that we were not going to be stuck in the trap of debt. We didn't stick to Dave's plan 100% (we still have a credit card....ahhhh!), but we used his principles.  We saved, thrifted, and made sacrifices to throw as much money as possible towards our student loans.

I used to be a spender...a big spender.  This process has taught me so much about self discipline, and I do love a good challenge.  It was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we learned it's a slow and steady race. We did try to reward ourselves every once in a while, made a few splurges and went on a few trips.


End of 2011- Read Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover and decided we wanted to change the way we were spending and living! I had just finished my MBA, and knew I didn't want the debt to linger. We moved to Austin for new jobs!


2012 - Began putting $1,000 a month towards student loans. Found out we were pregnant in February and cash flowed our son's doctor's bills/natural birth (much more expensive than going to a regular doctor....dumb decision on my part).


2013 - Bought our first home, which put a big stop to our saving.  When we decided to buy a house, we saved all our money to put towards closing costs.  During 2013, we did a REALLY bad job of saving as we spent most of our extra income on house projects. We still chipped away at the debt, but with low intensity. 


2014 - Did a better job of saving, found a cheaper school for Turner, cash flowed a vacation to San Francisco and NYC (trip has yet to come), and worked a lot of overtime.  In years past we had failed at doing a cash envelope system, but this fall we decided to try one more time! It finally stuck. Spending cash hurts! We found out real quick how much less we could live off of when we spent cash.  Most of our income was going to eating out...way too much!  We now budget $30-50 per week for eating out, and most nights cook at home (ugh...I hate cooking). We are intentional with each paycheck and have envelopes to save up for future events (Christmas, birthday gifts, vacation, car maintenance, hair cuts, etc.).


The past 3 years while Alex has worked at Apple, he has been contributing 20% of each paycheck towards his 401K, flex spending account for daycare, and his employee stock purchase plan.  The biggest contributor towards paying off our debt was our Apple stock.  We sold almost $10,000 worth of stock to put towards our debt. 

Our next step is to save 4 to 5 months of income, and then we're going to refinance our home to a 15 year fixed mortgage. We'll also be saving every month for our next car (both our vehicles are 94/95 models).  The next vehicle we buy won't be that nice, but who cares, we'll have payed cash for it! Our financial journey is definitely not over, and there will continue to be obstacles and sacrifices along the way, but we're ready.  We thank God every day for blessing us with a healthy family, great jobs, a home, and teaching us the principles of money. I pray we can help change other people's financial future and help them find freedom in being debt free. 

BEFORE AND AFTER: Rocking Chair Makeover

12.01.2014

I scored this beautiful and sturdy rocking chair on Craigslist for $25, but it needed an update.  I decided to paint it white (what I paint everything these days) using left over exterior paint from another project.  I had a pillow made (w/the help of my mom) using Bolt Fabric's waterproof outdoor material, which is perfect for outside decor! I love super easy projects like this, because it cost me next to nothing and it's like night and day.  
 
 
I was perusing through an antique store (Antique Gallery of Round Rock) the other day when I realized I love the booths that have antique/vintage furniture in its original version.  When I approach a shabby chic booth or a booth that has repainted every piece of furniture, I usually walk away.  I like to see furniture in the raw and the original wood stain.  How about you?  What's your go to paint style? Shabby Chic? Modern? Any particular color?



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