Marvelous Money: Why do we spend so much?

20 October 2014

I read an interesting piece the other day that I wanted to share with y’all. It was from one of my favorite writers on personal finance, Megan McArdle, and in it, she laid out seven reasons why most of us spend more than we should. Go take a peek!

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Another money guy, Dave Ramsey, likes to say that the root of our money problems is almost always ourselves, and I think it’s true! It’s not just the things that we do, but the ways that we think and the logical fallacies that we believe (as Megan points out) that undo us. If what we’re doing is not working (i.e. we’re not saving enough/we’re spending too much), then understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing is a great step toward changing our habits.

I’d love to know: which reason Megan laid out resonated most for you? I identified most with numbers 1 and 7. And I loved her final two (succinct) pieces of advice!

Porch party

16 October 2014

Well, when I made posting a priority in September, I knew my frequency might drop back down this month – but I didn’t expect to write only my second post of the month on the 16th! It’s been a busy two weeks, between traveling to New England for a wedding and to meet our newish nephew, me traveling to New York for work for five days, and starting a new family group at our church. I thought I’d get back in the swing of things by sharing our porch party!

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After 2012’s Julia & Julia dinner party and last year’s adventure dinner party, I knew I wanted to host another special event for some of our friends this year. We considered another adventurous location, but decided instead to celebrate our new home and its glorious porch. We used the same six-foot folding table that we bought for last year’s party, and splurged on two strings of lights from World Market. We moved our dining chairs outside for the evening. The simple white tablecloth was from Target, and I added some pale blue thin tapers at the last minute.

Our menu was Mediterranean: bruschetta, chicken souvlaki, quinoa Greek salad, and chocolate raspberry pavlova – all things we had made many times before. Friends brought rosé and pitas and hummus.

We started with a walk around our neighborhood, then came back to the house and finished prepping dinner. We completely lucked out with the weather – August in North Carolina can be HOT and muggy, but we got a mild, sunny day in the 70’s. Bliss! It made for a really relaxed evening, as we were able to stay outside in comfort, chatting and laughing. This year’s dinner party iteration wasn’t particularly elaborate, but it was lovely, and so good to get to give hospitality to the folks we love. Cheers to simple celebrations and good company!!

P.S. As you can see, the houses are pretty close together in our neighborhood, and I was a little nervous that I’d be self-conscious about our festivities. But I wasn’t! Once things got started, it was like we were in a cocoon of happiness :) Like with the adventure dinner party, don’t let what others might think hold you back!

October 2014 goals

1 October 2014

Hooray for crisp air, babbling brooks, pink sneakers, everyday adventures, and the month of October!

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September goal recap:
Sort pile in small bedroom
Weekly tennis dates with John in addition to our monthly couples tennis dates
Edit and sort photos from Natalie + Joe’s wedding weekend, Maine, and family Christmas card shoot
Open an account at my local consignment shop and bring in items to sell
Write at least 8 blog posts this month

Yeah!! Feeling pretty good about my progress last month! The only thing I did not check off was selling my clothes at a consignment shop. I actually tried – I rounded them up and took them in – but they said they weren’t currently accepting items and to call back in three weeks. Harrumph. I only have about five items to sell, and I’m wondering if I should continue to pursue the consignment route… or perhaps I should try to sell them on instagram? Or post them on the lightly-used EFM Facebook page? Happy to hear any thoughts or advice from friends who have successfully sold clothes recently.

On to October goals!
— Finally paint our front door now that the weather is cooler!
— Make sure my voter registration is correct after our move last year
— Dust/spot clean the inside of my car

Aaaand… that’s it!

Well, not exactly – I’m also planning to check off many of my fall to dos this month, including but not limited to picking apples, hosting a pumpkin carving night, handing out candy to trick or treaters, cheering under the Friday night lights, making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and frequenting the NC State Fair. On top of that, I’m traveling to New York/New England twice, and welcoming house guests one of the other remaining weekends. It’s going to be a great month! :)

If you’ve posted October goals, I’d love to take a peek – leave a note in the comments!

P.S. The Caitlin Wilson Designs giveaway is open until Friday!

Fall to do list

29 September 2014

After a gloomy, rainy week in North Carolina, the glorious weekend we just had reminded me of everything I love about fall. These seasonal lists serve the same purpose – they get me excited for the months to come, and remind me of all the things I really want to do but might not remember to do! What’s on your fall to do list?

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Pick apples at an orchard
Make apple pie biscuits
Host the second annual soup and pumpkin carving night
Make Thomas Keller’s chicken pot pie from scratch (filling, bechamel, pie crust, and all)
Hand out candy from our front steps (we’ll see if we can top our total from last year!)
Cheer at a Friday night football game under the lights
Make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Order Christmas cards
Watch the goat showmanship class at the State Fair (yes, it is as awesome as it sounds)
Make biscuits at our church’s Fair booth
Hike somewhere new with beautiful leaves

P.S. The Caitlin Wilson Designs giveaway is open until Friday!

Caitlin Wilson Designs giveaway!

26 September 2014

Update: Congratulations to reader no. 23, Laura Kittrell, our lucky winner! An email is on its way to you!

Since I’ve been searching for and saving home inspiration, this photo has always been one of my favorites:

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It captures so well the colorful but classic, clean, happy, comfortable vibe I’m hoping for in our home, which is why I included it in my home color post! Truly, pretty much every photo from Caitlin Wilson could have been included in that post – her aesthetic is just a perfect fit for mine!

coral-pillows

Y’all know I do not splurge easily, but I think her patterns can really add a “pop” to a room and bring a color scheme together – and the Mint Fleur Chinoise pillow I finally purchased last year does just that.

The kind folks at CWD somehow found my home tour post where it was featured and offered up another pillow for me and one for me to giveaway! I hemmed and hawed for a long time over which to choose, but finally settled on a Greige Greek Key lumbar pillow for our guest bedroom:

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I love supporting such a smart woman-owned, mama-owned business that is doing so many things right, including offering up a giveaway for y’all! :) Please leave a comment with your favorite CWD pillow pattern and I’ll choose a random winner to receive the 14×20 or 20×20 pillow cover of their choice next Friday. Good luck!!

P.S. Anyone can use code MARVELOUS10 for 10% off of their purchase!