Friday, May 20, 2011

Such a Little Big Step

I have been planning, meaning, about to set up a portfolio site for months now. Really longer, but only seriously lately.
I feel scared to do it because I struggle with feeling like a fake. How dare I make a website all about me and my body of work?!?

Well I finally did it. For all the scary, overwhelming feelings I have had it was relatively painless.

The design is laughable, the structure juvenile and yet, I am happy it exists. There is so much work I need to do on it but I am sure some day it will be awesome and an asset to my career.

So without further ado, I present:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crazy Coupon Lady

So I have ALWAYS been a couponer, and a clearance checker, a price haggler and occasionally a discount demander [no I don't want the one thats not broken, I want this one half off!].

Lately however we of the crazy coupon clippers are getting more publicity. This both gladdens and worries me. I am glad more people are being thrifty and taking advantage of good deals. I worry that if too many people start doing it the stores will make stricter rules.

Too good to be true discounts are still profitable for businesses because they know most people will not bother to take advantage of the savings. It is like the mail in rebate phenomenon. Most people that purchase something with a mail in rebate never actually send in for the money. If the store had discounted the item at the register, they would lose more money in the long run.

Anyhow, enough with the blabbing. I thought I would share a little coupon shopping in did this morning at Walgreens. With a combination of in-store discounts, manufacturer coupons, and register rewards [instant rebate certificates that print at the register] I saved 75% off my total purchase.

To visualize:

-$40 = $14!

Where In The World Is Silvana Kathryn!

The last few months have been pure insanity. I know I make that excuse every time I disappear for a while. But I promise this time it is true!

As you know in December I went through the overwhelming process of moving Alice [my husbands grandmother whom I cared for full time] into an assisted living facility. I had finally finished all the paperwork and transition steps and brought over her last things when she somewhat expectedly passed away a month later. This then started another somewhat overwhelming process of emptying her space, filling out more paperwork, and being there for my in laws while they made final preparations.

Then came February I barely remember that month at all. I was trying to start a business doing something I thought I would enjoy but after a little over a month I realized I was making a mistake and had to re-evaluate.

This lead me to March where I made a huge decision about my future and my career. At this point I should have been set. Things should have been on a good path and settling down. However the big career/life choice I made meant that I was going to be a little bit broke for a while so my husband and I were brainstorming for ways I could make some extra money while I built up clients.

This brings us to April. On April 2nd I posted status on my facebook saying "Anybody wanna rent our basement apartment?" Two days later I got a text from my sister in law asking if I was serious about renting the space. I was, sort of, serious, though it needed alot of work to get it rentable. She proceeded to tell me about her co-worker that needed a place by the end of the month and the insanity ensued.

In less than a month and on a budget of $1500 we completely renovated our basement into a studio apartment complete with a kitchen and all new bathroom fixtures. We tore out walls, ran new drains, new water, and two new circuits for kitchen appliances. I put down new flooring, painted the entire space and installed TWO sinks with minimal assistance. We ended up paying my brothers [the general contractors] to do some of the work running drain because it was just a bit over our heads.

I was pulling 16-18 hour days while still trying to focus on that new career venture.
So when I say things have been insane, I truly mean it.

So now that all the blah blah blahing is over I can let you know the good stuff. I somehow forgot to take photos of the apartment before it was filled with the new tenants things. But when she has unpacked the last few things I will take some furnished photos.

If you are thinking tl;dr, than stay tuned for the fun post to come, complete with visual aids!