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Archive for November 2014

Where we got married: Mooresville, AL

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We got married in the town of Mooresville, AL. I've posted about Mooresville a couple times: back in 2011when my mom and I toured the town, and then back in June when I posted about our venue. I wanted to mention Mooresville again because the charm of the town was a big factor in us getting married there.
photo credit: White Rabbit Studios
The town of Mooresville is more like a neighborhood than a town. Only 53 people live there. The town was incorporated in 1818, before Alabama was a state. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places.

photo credit: Glass Jar Photography

photo credit: Southern Living Magazine
A couple months ago (I think the September issue?) Southern Living came out with a list of the best small towns in the South, and Mooresville made the list! SL wrote, "History reigns supreme in this postcard-size town. As a matter of fact, the entire town, all 0.1 mile and six streets of it, is included on the National Register of Historic Places. White picket fences frame tree-shaded streets and buildings where Presidents have slept. Visiting here is like stepping back into a time of gracious plenty, where city noise is the rustling of oaks and congestion is the growth of moss on clapboard cottages."

photo credit: White Rabbit Studios

The post office is the oldest one in the state. It was built in 1840, and is still in operation. The mailboxes and office furnishings are even older, having been transferred from the original post office in the tavern. The post boxes are numbered 1-48 and some families have had the same box number for several generations.

photo credit: White Rabbit Studios

photo credit: White Rabbit Studios
The houses in the town are so cute! Most of the homes were built during the cotton boom (most of the early residents were cotton farmers). In one of the houses, Andrew Johnson (the 17th President) was an apprentice tailor.
photo credit: Southern Living magazine

The other historic church in Mooresville (not the one I got married in) is the Church of Christ built in 1854.

I took this photo at the 2013 Christmas tour of homes
Last year we did the Christmas tour of homes in Mooresville, which we loved! The town is so quaint and has so much charm. We're so glad we got married in Mooresville!

Link up for Wedding Wedneday!
Wedding Wednesday

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Personal Finance Advice for Newlyweds

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Financial tips for newlyweds

1. Talk about money often. The top issue that couples fight about is money. I think the best way to start off your marriage or engagement is to be very open about money. My husband and I use the Mint app for our budgeting and we usually check it every day. If I notice that we're going over in one of our budget categories, I'll send him a quick text to let him know. Whenever my husband wants to know about a certain charge in our account, he asks me. Even if it's just a short text or 5 minute conversation, it's very important to have open lines of communication when it comes to money. In the beginning money can be awkward to talk about, but the more you talk the less awkward it becomes.

2. Start paying down debt immediately. If you're starting off your marriage in debt, now is the time to start paying that down. It's easier to pay off debt now, than to wait when you have more responsibilities (like children). There are two different methods of paying off debt: the avalanche method (paying off higher interest rates first) or the snowball method (paying off the smallest debt first). Talk to spouse and get on the same page about which method you want to use. Prior to our marriage, I got into credit card debt and paid it all off before our wedding. Having debt is stressful, and paying it off was such a weight off my shoulders!

3. Live off one income and save the other. One of my co-workers told me during her pre-marital counseling their pastor recommended only living off one income. If you decide that one of you wants to stay home with children, this is easier to do financially if you're already used to living off one income. We're not planning to have children anytime soon, and I don't think I'll want to be a stay at home mom when the time comes, but I still think this is great advice. If one of us loses our job, we'll still be okay financially since we only live off one income.

4. Save! Have you ever been really excited about getting a raise, only to realize that the additional money just seems to disappear? Most people increase their standard of living whenever they get a pay raise. You don't end up accumulating more money because you're spending more money. Instead of spending your raise, invest it instead. My husband just got a raise last week, and he increased his retirement savings with the extra money. We never got used to having more money, so we never missed the money that was now going to retirement. It's so important to start saving money when you're young because of the magic of compounding interest. Those people who say they aren't saving for retirement in their 20's because they have "plenty of time" don't understand the magically powers of compounding interest, which this charts explains pretty well:

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the less you'll need to save thanks to compounding interest. If you want to learn more about compounding interest, this article explains it really well.

5. Agree on your goals. When it comes to short term and long term goals, finances play a huge role in the decision making process. Whether you want to buy a new car, go on a European vacation, or retire at 40, you need money for everything. Discuss your goals with your spouse and come up with a plan to meet your goals. Before we got married, my husband and I agreed that we wanted to buy a house and travel. To achieve these goals, we set up additional saving accounts and have money automatically deposited into these accounts on pay days. I also recommend writing down your goals, because people who write down goals are more likely to accomplish them.

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5 Facts About 5 Points

Monday, November 10, 2014

A couple weeks ago my mom and I took a walking tour of the 5 Points neighborhood in Huntsville. Here are some facts that I learned from the tour.

1. 5 Points was the first neighborhood in Huntsville outside of downtown. This area became popular with cotton mill workers at the turn of the century.

2. For the first time in Huntsville, it became feasible for residents to live outside of the downtown area because a streetcar starting running from downtown to 5 Points in 1901.

This was our tour guide, who was born and raised in Huntsville and grew up in 5 Points

3. 5 Points was created in 1892 by developers from North Dakota.

4. The most popular architecture style in 5 Points is bungalow. Bungalow's are characterized by sloping roof lines, typically feature a gable over the front door, overhanging eaves with brackets or exposed rafters, and have wide front porches.

5. Zoning laws didn't exist when 5 Points was created, and it was pretty common for home owners to run a grocery store out of their home. You can still see the original storefront on this house.

Several home owners had Little Free Library stands in their yards

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Currently, Vol 7

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Anticipating: Our trip to Destin this coming weekend. Sam is going for work, and I'm tagging along.

From our Destin trip in 2013

Working on: I bought two cane back chairs several years ago, and finally starting taking them apart and painting them in August (you can see before photos here). Then I gave up on painting because my homemade chalk paint was getting too thick and gloopy. My sister Stephanie moved in with me last month and has been pestering me to work on the chairs (they will be her chairs once they're done). Last week we finished painting and glazing the chairs and this weekend we started upholstering.
Stephanie painting (left). All we have left to do on this chair is add the double welt cord (right).

Loving: Having my sissie-pooh live with me! I especially love that she does my grocery shopping for me!

Thinking About: Stephanie's wedding one year ago today. In December Stephanie's husband will come back to the States and then they'll live about 4 hours away :(
You can see more photos from Stephanie's wedding here and her bridal photos that I took here.

Dreaming About: Getting a new sofa. We went to two furniture stores, and I was pretty shocked how much a custom sofa costs. I know I want a bright green sofa, so I'll probably need to get a custom sofa to get the color I want. I like the shape of these two sofas:

Linking up with Joyful Life and No Reservations

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Receiving Line

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding
 We decided to do a receiving line right after our wedding ceremony. I have been to numerous weddings where the bride and groom never talked their guests! I didn't want to be one of those people. Most of our guests traveling from out of state to attend our wedding, and it was important to us to greet and talk to all our guests.
Brick Church Mooresville Wedding receiving line
Our parents, Sam, and I all stood in front of the church and as all the guests were leaving, we talked to everyone.

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding receiving line
My Mama hugging me

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding receiving line
Me and Sam's aunt

I know a lot of people consider receiving lines to be old fashioned, but as a guest it can be upsetting to travel out of town for the wedding and then not even have the bride and groom acknowledge your presence (yes, this happened to me).

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding receiving line

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding receiving line

After all the guests were on their way to the reception, we rang the church bell, which I mentioned in our ceremony post. Supposedly, the number of times you ring the bell, is the number of children you'll have!

Brick Church Mooresville Wedding

All photos taken by White Rabbit Studios

To see my other Wedding posts, click here.
Today I'm co-hosting Wedding Wednesday with Chits and Giggles. If you have any wedding posts, link them up here:
Wedding Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

There's a trend that I've noticed among personal finance blogs - the idea of easy ways to save money. It seems like every article I've read on Pinterest lately says to take your lunch to work and stop ordering coffee at Starbucks to save money. This advice just annoys me to no end!

save money by stopping starbucks habit
Photo credit: Flickr

I don't know anyone who eats out and goes to Starbucks everyday. All those blogs and articles that claim you can save $400 a month by cutting out those habits just don't seem realistic to me. I know lots of people who eat out for lunch once a week. If those people stopped eating out once a week, they would probably only save $40-50. I don't think cutting back a once a week habit is going to suddenly make these people wealthier.

Last week I've found that other people feel the same way I do! A Practical Wedding posted How We Do It: Personal Budgeting, and I loved reading the comments section, especially this comment by Meg Keene, "I've been thinking a lot about that idea of latte. It rightly pointed out that so many of our expenses at this point have to do with the way the system works on a structural level. IE, I don't buy a daily latte, but it really wouldn't matter if I did. By the time you add up (for us, the list varies by person but almost always exists) medical costs, student loans, saving for retirement in the world of no pensions, and the hugely expensive cost of childcare before public school kicks in... that's pretty much our budget. (And that's not even adding in how high the cost of home ownership has climbed!) The idea that we can somehow control those costs by changing a $3/day habit is... well... mostly it's a comforting fiction. Because it actually IS really nice to imagine that just by changing a few small expenditures everything would fall into place."

Then I read this post on My Shiny Nickels, You Starbucks Habit is NOT Why You're Broke (don't you just love that title!). She writes, "Starbucks (or Peets or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or…) is hardly the reason why our piggy banks are empty. If you’re broke, should you be indulging in foo-foo coffee? Probably not. But is that the reason you’re broke? Probably not. We’re neck-deep in oversized houses and overpriced cars, and we’re worried about what coffee we’re drinking? Why are we so afraid to tell each other the hard truth? We’re spending too much in every area of our life. Plain and simple."

Bottom line, I doubt going to Starbucks a couple times a week or month is ruining your budget. You coule save much money by buying a smaller house or driving your car until it dies, than by cutting out Starbucks.
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Camping and a $200 CASH GIVEAWAY!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kentucky camping trip
A couple weeks ago we went camping in the middle of nowhere (Rough River) in Kentucky. Going camping has turned into an annual trip that we make with friends, and we try to meet somewhere that's about equal distance for all of us to drive.

Rough River Kentucky camping trip
We got a primitive campsite (no running water or electrical outlet), which I was unsure about, but the location was very scenic and right next to the water.

Kentucky camping trip
Here's our tent and the campfire/eating area (below).
Kentucky camping trip

Kentucky camping trip with dog
Finn LOVES camping. Note: his crazy eyes in this photo.

Rough River Kentucky camping trip
This was the perfect time of year to go to Kentucky because the leaves were already changing (which hasn't happened in Alabama yet), and the area was very beautiful.

Rough River Kentucky camping trip with dog

Rough River Kentucky camping trip

Rough River Kentucky camping trip

Rough River Kentucky camping trip

Our group photos. Don't we have great camping style?!!
Rough River Kentucky camping trip

Rough River Kentucky camping trip

Have you ever been camping? Where are your favorite places to camp?


And now for the giveaway! I sure wish I could enter this one!

Welcome to Cassie and Karissa's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Finding unique, thoughtful gifts during the Holiday season can be hard.  That's why we teamed up with some amazing small business owners to share a few beautiful gifts for each person in your life! We're even giving away $200 Paypal Cash so that that one lucky person can go on a little Christmas shopping spree. We encourage you to partake in the giveaway and to use the coupon codes below to get some amazing pieces! Happy Holidays!

For Her

Awl Snap. Awl Snap's leather goods are founded and forged in the wonderful city of Richmond, VA.  Boasting ridiculously soft leathers in rich earth tones, each Awl Snap product is created with attention to functionality, durability, and a slight nod to the quirkiness in all of us.
Receive 15% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14

Gertie & Baxter. Gertie & Baxter is a women's accessories line, hand crafted in downtown Los Angeles. Our line focuses on American girl style, specializing in headbands, scarves, boot socks and other accessories to keep you cute!
Receive 15% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14

The Posh Daisy. The {posh} Daisy started  when I couldn't find that perfect hand stamped piece of jewelry that I had been looking for. I decided why not make my own? After that I was hooked.
My mom and I opened up our Etsy shop in 2011 and the rest is history. We love owning this little business together; we get to talk and laugh and create! Nothing better than that. Our collection is boho, shabby chic, and classic. Something for everyone, personalized, and one of a kind jewelry. 
Receive 25% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14 

Fedeli Jewelry.  Fedeli jewelry was born out of a love for a necklace that belonged to my mother; the necklace is delicate, gold, and sits at just the right spot on my neck. I wanted to begin creating things that had an essence of my mother in them - beautiful, dainty, and captivating.
Receive 20% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14


For Him

Kith & Kin. Kith&Kin is a family of makers. It's been in our blood for generations. Our grandparents made our toys and quilts, our moms made our pajamas, and we fell asleep in beds our dads made. When we met, we fell in love and felt at home...and kept the making alive. We even made four kids! Now we make everything together.   We invite you to be apart of our family with our high quality, handmade pieces.
Receive 20% off all bags with the code GIFTGUIDE14

   For the Home/Office

Stamp Nouveau. In this internet filled world, finding a hand addressed card or letter in your mailbox is a special treasure! Our designer stamps are the perfect way to add your personal touch to all your outgoing treasures. This world needs more love letters!
Receive 15% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14

Cey Events and Design. CEY Events and Design was born out of a love for burlap, lace, and anything gold.  I love creating chic, affordable, and pops of glamour for any space. Items featured are burlap and gold pillows, state design pillows, gold foil prints, sequin hangers, and repurposed mettalic items.
Receive 25% off orders of $30 or more with the code GIFTGUIDE14

FreeFolding. Freefolding is my studio brand of contemporary functional ceramic home-ware. I'm a one woman show; creating, making, and designing each piece single handedly. I love making vessels out of clay sheets. I investigate its options to be folded, closed and create a container. THe new ways to unravel traditional forms and to play with them are the force that attracts and motivates me forward. Though decliate and so fine-looking, my ceramic is amazingly practical, and can be used anywhere in the kitchen, being oven, microwave, and dishwasher proof.
Receive 20% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14

A Little Bit of Me. A Little Bit specializes in big bright blooms, custom illustrations, and #spreadjoyandhappymail cards to spread joy through snail mail!
Receive 20% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14
Modern Memo. Modern Memo creates original, handmade greeting cards with the use of modern calligraphy and heat embossing. The unique use of heat embossing gives the pattern a raised and textured look while also adding a sheen and vivid color. These cards are perfect for any occasion!
Receive 20% with the code GIFTGUIDE2014

For the Kids

Babysprouts & Company. Babysprouts & Company is a small-town handmade business specializing in baby accessories (teethers, pacifier clips) and apparel (leggings, harem pants).  We are a new company with a BIG dream! Our shop contains high-quality products with modern prints.
Receive 25% off with the code GIFTGUIDE14

Now for the free money! Thanks to these beautiful ladies we have $200 PayPal Cash to giveaway. Be sure to check them out to gain lots of entries!

Winning entry will be verified. Winner must have a valid PayPal account for money to be transferred.

Enter here:

This giveaway ends on Monday, November 10th. Good luck!
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