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Creating a Home Budget

In my last few finance Friday posts I've talked about home buying and our process because that's where my life is right now and that is my biggest financial priority but this week I want to back up and talk about something a little more basic - budgeting.

Although having a good budget is an important step it is also an ongoing process - we look at and tweak our budget every single month. The common approach for budgeting when starting from scratch is to spend a month or two tracking expenses and create a budget based on your spending with adjustments as needed. I actually disagree with this process and think the very first thing you should do is build your ideal budget. Actually I think everyone should have two ideal budgets - the long term of where they want to be and then the ideal for their current financial situation. I know the idea of budgeting can be very daunting so I'm going to break it down step by step as to how I budget. I personally find Microsoft excel to be…
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Shop Memphis - The Avenue Carriage Crossing

In my last post about shopping in Memphis (here) I talked about finding the perfect gift; while you can certainty find a lovely gift at The Avenue Carriage Crossing I think it's the perfect place to get ready for your gift giving occasion.

For your skin care and beauty needs head to Astoria. I recently wrote about my medical grade facial experience but that is just of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ashtoria's offerings. One unique offering is the year of beauty package - it's $3,600 for six laser treatments and 6 facials throughout the year - I know that's a great price and it's certainty on my radar as I age into my 30s. Of course, you don't have to make such a big commitment and can try individual laser treatments. Ashtoria also offers injectables such as botox and a wide variety of professional grade products.
 Memphis bloggers learning about Ashtoria's offerings
 Just a small sampling of Ashtoria's products
Treatment room at Ashtoria
Of c…

Medical Facial at Ashtoria

Y'all, it has been soooooo long since I've tried a new beauty treatment to share with y'all. Partially because I've fallen into a skin care routine but also partially because it hasn't been an areas of focus, which is terrible because taking care of your skin should always be an area of focus. Lucky for me the ladies as Ashtoria were able to get me back on track.  

I recently found out about Ashtoria while attending an event at The Shops of Carriage Crossing and was excited to learn about the medical aesthetics offerings. Although I put a hold on getting Botox a few years ago I'm always down to check out the latest in anti aging. I'd love to one day get laser treatments but I don'[t feel like I'm there yet so for an entry level introduction into the Ashtoria offerings I decided to book a medical grade facial. One thing that I typically find overwhelming when thinking about getting a facial is there can be so many types to choose from and I'm u…

Gingham Style for Any Size

Oh my goodness, I think we skipped spring and went straight to summer in Memphis y’all!And considering the weather won’t even think of cooling down until the end of October I’m looking at a long stretch of needing warm weather clothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love floral just as much as the next girly girl but my favorite spring / summer print is actually gingham.

I knew I wanted to talk more about gingham I didn’t want to just show y’all the same pieces you’ve already seen me in and I also wanted to show how gingham is something truly for everyone– luckily I have a great tribe of blogger babes in Memphis so I can share with you gingham styled differently and worn on different sizes!
When Denise and Magen agreed to show off gingham style with me I kept the guidelines pretty simple – wear something gingham. So I love how with no planning on our parts not only did we all style gingham differently and pick different colors we also picked different pieces.
I would love to buy a gingham …

Wine Glass Writer Around the House

I might have mentioned once or twice that in our house we love wine. Drinking a good glass of wine is great but to me it's just as much about the experience - I love going to wineries and walking through the vineyards , putting out pretty crystal glasses on the dining table for guests and collecting fun accessories. When I first saw Wine Glass Writer I figured it would be a fun way to keep up with who's glass is who's when we have parties and since they're a fun wine accessory I needed them, right? When my package arrived I immediately got out a few glasses and started practicing making my name as pretty as possible on my wine glasses and truth be told it was pretty fun. Since a wine glass is a pretty small surface I started looking around the house for other surfaces to write on and it turns out Wine Glass Writer is quite versatile. The best part about Wine Glass Writer though isn't all the fun you can have with it - although we'll get to that - I love that …

Airbnb First Timer Review

Over the weekend I had a girls trip with my sorority sister Becky for another planner conference in Nashville. When we first started planning for this trip I was shocked at hotel prices in Nashville - gosh darn all the bachelorette parties and hipsters traveling there driving up prices. When I travel I typical have two behaviors when looking at accommodations - either stay in a bed and breakfast which adds charm to the overall getaway experience or if the trip is full of activity just find a safe, clean and affordable place to stay so you can focus spending on the purpose of the trip. I know that everyone's budget differs but for a frame of reference typically when Shaun and I travel we like to stay around $150 or under for a night. But when I go on a girls trip and accommodation cost has to come out of my monthly discretionary budget, which I already have a hard time sticking to and since those trips are usually about having fun and not a romantic place to stay I like to go the…

Our Homebuying journey and the mortgage process

As I mentioned in my last finance post - more transparency in this area is something I'm looking to provide more of to y'all and since I started off with my argument for why I personally believe homeownership is a solid financial choice today I'm talking more in detail about our personal journey.

Just because home ownership is a good idea doesn't mean it's good idea for everyone. While there are formal qualifications you'd go through with the mortgage process I feel like there is a place you should be in in your life before event thinking about homeownership:


1. Have an emergency fund - typically at least $1,000 starting off but certainly more is better. I think its hard to set a given amount because everyone has a different financial situation but enough that paying an insurance deductible or replacing an appliance could be done so with cash. Life happens, if something unexpected came up and would give you trouble making your mortgage payment you're not…