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3 Areas for Easy Orchid Care

3 Areas for Easy Orchid Care

You have probably heard it said that orchids are hard to grow. Maybe you have even had an orchid die while in your care. It can be very frustrating. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as everyone says it is! I’ve boiled my orchid care down to three main areas: potting medium, watering, and sunlight. If you can get these three areas on lockdown, then you can care for your orchid!

Potting Medium

The best potting medium for an orchid is bark, since it can hold a little water, but is also loose enough that the roots can breath (which they like.) My first orchid died because it had moss packed too tightly around its roots so it was never able to dry out. The roots literally rotted away. I learned to replant any moss bound orchids as soon as they were done flowering. You can find orchid repotting mix at any home garden center, I’ve included a link to the equivalent I found on Amazon.

Watering

Watering can also be another concerning thing in orchid care. I’ve found a really simple way to do it once the orchid is potted in bark. Once a week, bring your orchid to the sink and run water over the bark. I usually let the water start to fill the pot before I set it aside. Be careful not to let any water sit in the base of the leaves; this will also rot your orchid. Use the corner of a paper towel to mop up any extra water. Then you let orchids drain before putting them back.

If your orchid is still in moss, I would use the ice chip method. Put enough ice cubes to cover the surface of the moss and let them melt. This means less water is being introduced to your orchid, so it has more of a chance of drying out between waterings. I wouldn’t use this for orchids in bark because the water won’t penetrate down to the lowest roots.

The lighter color on this leaf is scarring from sunburn. I’ve learned my lesson!

Sunlight

Orchids are finicky with light. They like a lot of sunlight, but if they spend a ton of time in direct sunlight, they will get sunburns (yes, plants can get sunburnt.) The key is to find a place where it’s bright a lot of the time, but the direct sunlight is low. In my current house, I have the orchids on my desk in a window that gets a lot of light in the morning, but because of trees, doesn’t get much of it directly. Look around your house for a window that gets light for hours a time, if anything, you can put up a sheer curtain to offset the light.

Once I figured these three areas out, I started collecting more orchids. I have five in my care right now that are all happy! Of course, that wasn’t without trial and error (I’ve also killed two orchids to learn these tricks.) If you have any questions about caring for your orchids, please ask them! I have a Pinterest board dedicated to plants if you want to check that out. Happy growing!

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Thoughts from September 2017

Thoughts from September 2017

Another month has come and gone. It feels like I learn so much about myself and my business with each passing month. October marks two months since I moved to Washington. It’s still the best choice I could have made! I’m learning endurance both in my mind and in my body. My business continues to grow and I’ve been working on learning more and more about how to run it successfully. Overall, it’s been a great month.

Links I Love

Olympic Peninsula and Mowich Lake

I took two awesome trips this month. The first was to the Olympic Peninsula with a friend of mine. We got to see Lake Quinault, Gatton Creek Falls, the Pacific Ocean, Forks, and La Push. Which means I got to check off a few more things on my Olympic Peninsula Bucket List! I also went on a hike later in the month with the aunt and uncle of a friend of mine.  We hiked up from Mowich Lake, saw Mt. Rainier, walked down and around to Spray Falls. My heels got shredded, but it was so awesome!

Two Clients

I finally have a second client! It may seem strange that it’s taking me so long to get clients, but it’s really normal. There are many people I’m talking to about becoming clients, but it can take a while to actually make them clients. Which is understandable, we both need to make sure it’s a good fit and my skills match the task. I’m really excited to get started and continue growing my business.

Babysitting Axel

The final thing happening this month is starting my babysitting job. My friend needs a babysitter for her son, Axel, three days a week and I get to be the one he spends time with. It’s only for a few hours a week, but I’m so excited to have baby time and another form of steady income. Wish me luck!

This month has been very good. I’m looking forward to seeing what October has to offer. I know I’ll be going down to Portland for a day and my goal is to get two clients from the people I’m talking to at the moment. Hopefully, it will be as good as September!

How was your September? What good things happened to you? What does October have in store for you?

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Questions to Ask to Keep Yourself From Buying Things You Don’t Need

Questions to Ask to Keep Yourself From Buying Things You Don’t Need

We all do it. We enter a store looking for one or two items and end up leaving with way more than we intended. This not only hurts our wallets but can lead to owning too many things. I’ve developed four questions that I ask myself whenever I start to divert from my shopping list, so I only go home with things that I actually need and can afford.

1. Do I need this item?

This is pretty simple, is this item something you need or something you want. Toilet paper and lettuce could be things you need. On sale wrapping paper or a cute pencil holder could be things you only want. I use this question to gauge if it’s something I forgot to put on my list or a passing fancy.

2. Have I been wanting to buy this for a while?

Have you been wanting to buy a new bathmat for months and you just found one on sale? Maybe this is the time to finally buy it. But you haven’t been thinking about buying that glassware set, in fact, you don’t really need new glasses. Skip it, even if it’s on sale. This gives you the freedom to take up low prices, but only on items that will actually help you.

3. Do I have the money for this?

This is the big one: can you afford it? Even if it is something you need and it’s on sale, you can still not have enough money at the moment to buy it. This is particularly true for pricier items. However, if you check out the price and realize you have that extra money in the budget, go for it!

4. Will I (or my spouse) be disappointed I bought this in a few days?

Even if you answer yes to the first three questions, you can still say no to this one. Maybe you have been craving a new video game and you just found one you’ve been wanting to play on sale! Then you remember that your spouse has been complaining about needing new work shirts. Sure, there might be yeses to the first three questions, but you know your spouse will be disappointed to wait another paycheck before getting new clothes. So you pass on the offer.

Only you can answer these questions truthfully and use them to help your spending habits. Usually, I only get to the first question and put the item back. Remember, there will be a time when you will have more disposable income, but until then, learn to recognize the difference between what you want, what you need, and what you can afford.

What are some of your tricks to curb your spending? Do these questions help you?

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How to Move Cross-Country with a Cat

How to Move Cross-Country with a Cat

Moving is an ordeal when you’re moving cross-country. There are a lot of logistics to organize. It can be even more stressful if you have an animal with you, especially a cat, who isn’t used to being out and about. I recently moved from Wisconsin to Washington state with my cat, Hazel, in tow. I am very lucky that Hazel is an incredibly chill cat, but there were still a lot of things to think about when I was getting ready. Here are the things I prepared while moving.

Supplies

Most cats don’t like cars, so I suggest getting some sort of carrier for your cat. I got a medium-sized dog kennel from Amazon, so she would have room to move around. You know what your own cat likes, so if they need something bigger or smaller get that. I put in a bed, litter box, and water for her. The litter box is a travel version and was so small and portable. It saved my life because I could easily move it between the car and the hotel. I also got a water bowl that screws to the side of the kennel, so it wouldn’t spill accidentally. (affiliate links)

She tried to climb out the top of her kennel on the last day.

Be Prepared for Crying

Cats are notorious for this. They will whine for HOURS and just when you think they must be tired, they will keep going. I was so, so lucky that Hazel didn’t start crying until our last day of travel and even then it was minimal. I have heard of people putting a blanket around their cat kennel to muffle the noises. I was prepared to turn up the music loud to drown her out. There are also some calming cat sprays that have pheromones that cats like, they might help your cat not be so on edge. (affiliate link)

Hotels

Look ahead to see which hotels have the cheapest pet fees. I found that they were around $15-$25 on top of the room fee. If you are around the Dakotas area, Kelly Inn has no pet fees. I stayed there two nights and I loved it.  I brought in my cat’s food, scratching post, bed, and litter box, which I put in the bathroom so it would be easiest for the staff to clean. Think about what will be the best for your cat. If they retaliate by going to the bathroom where they shouldn’t, maybe keep them in the bathroom. If they like to scratch a lot, bring in multiple scratching posts to encourage correct scratching. They will love getting out of the car, Hazel was so excited and explored everything.

Hazel insisted on sitting near to me, so I rearranged her kennel.

Weather

It was in the 90s my entire drive out to Washington. It was stifling. To keep Hazel cool, I made sure she was never in the sun even when I was driving. When we stopped quickly for gas, I opened all the windows. The few times when we stopped for a longer period of time, I opened all my car doors, so there would be a cross breeze in the car. I also watched to see if she started panting, as that would be a sign she was too hot (it takes a lot to get a cat to pant.) In the winter, I would be sure to put a blanket on her cage if I was going to be gone for more than a few minutes.

The number one thing to remember is the personality of your cat. You know what they can and cannot handle and how best to soothe them (to the extent they will let you.) If you can afford it, there are services that will move your pet for you, just make sure to do your research. It was stressful but definitely worth it to bring my cat with me on my big move. And to think, there were people who told me to leave her behind (as if!) If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments! Or let me know how your trip went.

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Thoughts from August 2017

Thoughts from August 2017

I’m going to be starting a monthly post about the important things that have happened with me over the past month. Think of it as a love letter to all my readers. I’ll always include links I love, but the rest is up to what has happened that month and what you all want to read!

Links I Love

I went back through my Pocket saves for the month and give you the most interesting tidbits. Thanks to Modern Mrs. Darcy for the idea!

 

First Solo Washington Trip

That’s right! I went on my first trip completely alone while living in Washington. I had a road trip through Mt. Rainier National Park and I absolutely loved it, even if my feet did not (five miles of hiking on a road trip!) Look for the complete run down of the trip on Monday.

I love working from home!

I was pretty sure I was going to like working at home, but you can never be really sure until you do something. Well, after working from home for the last few weeks, the consensus is love! It’s really amazing to be able to set my own schedule and not have anyone looking over my shoulder. I know that every cent I earn is my own. It’s awesome! Now I need to beef up my client list, so I can have sustained success in this endeavor.

Furbishing My Apartment

Moving across the country on a budget means that I have to leave a lot of my larger furniture behind. I moved in with no couches, tv stand, or dining table. So I went to some thrift stores to buy what I needed. I stopped at a store called Value Village and found a small table that could serve as a tv stand. I can always fix it up later, but for now, it’ll work. Then I did something that is not usual for me. I bought two chairs from Goodwill. It made me pretty nervous, but they are in really good shape and only need a good cleaning. I’m going to rent a carpet cleaner from Home Depot to make them feel homier. I love the red color!

Celebrating My 25th Birthday

I am now a quarter of a century old. Yay! I worked for a few hours in the morning (and went outside to view the eclipse), then I went to my friend’s house to finish a Lord of the Rings marathon we started the night before. It was a really nice, low-key birthday and was perfect for the turbulent year I’ve had.

And this pretty much sums up my August. If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know! I want to make this series something that we all can enjoy, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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On Moving

On Moving

I’ve done it! I’ve been talking about it for months and months and now it has finally happened: I live in Washington state!

My uncle and I set out on Saturday, July 29th. The outside temperature was around 90 for the whole drive. Even with that, it was a good trip overall. The vast expanses of North Dakota and Montana were breath taking and the mountains in Montana, Idaho, and Washington were extraordinary. We arrived on Tuesday, August 1st, right on schedule. I’m so very excited for this new chapter in my life.

I have to be honest though, leaving was so hard. I cried when I left my best friend and roommate in Madison, when I hugged my mom goodbye, and when I crossed the state line out of Wisconsin. However, I never cried because I didn’t want to go or because I thought I was making a mistake.

Logically, I know that I’m capable of living on my own in a new place. Now I get to see that idea in action. I need to be open to new things and willing to actually talk to other people (eek!). I need to know when to ask for help and when I can do it myself. Most of all, I need to be comfortable in who I am and live a life according to that.

I didn’t mean for this post to get so philosophical, but these are all interesting things to think about and remember. If you are thinking of a life changing move, do it. I’m already so happy I did. If you want to chat, comment or hit me up on social media. Please let me know what you think!

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4 Tips for Selling on Craig’s List

4 Tips for Selling on Craig’s List

In three weeks, I’m going to be moving from Wisconsin to Washington state. I realized very early on that I could not bring all of my furniture with me and I would have to sell most of it. But selling items is not as easy as it would seem. There are certain things you need to include in your Craig’s List posts to boost the likelihood of your item selling. Here are my top four tips for selling on Craig’s List. 

#1 Clear Pictures

There are a few components in my picture above that help it to stand out. The lighting is bright, the couch looks clean, and there aren’t very many distractions in the picture. It can be even easier to take a good picture when it’s easier to move the item around. Find a blank wall or a door to put the item in front of and turn on as many lights as you can. Even better, take the picture near a window on a sunny day. All of these help to boost your pictures and make your item look more appealing. More people will be willing to click on it.

#2 Priced Right

I knew that the couches I was trying to sell were a little worse for wear. In the picture above, you can see a little bit of damage on it and there is normal wear and tear as well. I knew I wouldn’t be receiving top dollar for it. So, I priced it at $200 with the hope that I could get $150 for it. You can also look at the pricing for similar items on Craig’s List before you list your own to be more competitive.

#3 Descriptive Description

Descriptions are really hard to write, however, there are a few things you can include pretty much every time. Include the dimensions of the product, since pictures often don’t do justice to sizing. If there are significant advantages or disadvantages to the item include them as well. If the item is large (like mine), state whether you are willing to help move the object or if the buyer needs to have their own transportation.If you put this information in, it will help scale down inquiries to the people who are really serious about buying your item.

#4 Lower the Price

If after a few days or a week, your item isn’t selling, lower the price. If my couch doesn’t sell at $200 after a week, I’ll lower to $100. It’s more important for me to sell it than it is for me to make a lot of money off of it. If you have the time, lower the price more slowly and try to find the “sweet spot” to get to most money someone will pay.

I sold my couches less than a week after I posted them. And the woman who came to get them said “This is exactly what I was expecting.” I makes me feel a lot better that I don’t need to find a way to get them to Goodwill. If you have any of your own tips for selling on Craig’s List, please reply in the comments. I hope these are helpful for you selling endeavors.

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How to Refresh a Decorative Globe

How to Refresh a Decorative Globe

Lately, globes seem to be all the rage in home design, with good reason, too! I have a globe that I have had since I was a child and Santa brought it on Christmas morning (lame at the time, but super cool now.) I seriously love this globe, but I really hate the way it looks with my current home decor. The tan, slightly metallic looking paint on the brackets doesn’t match anything and looks dated. So, I decided to paint the brackets. (And prayed that I wouldn’t accidentally paint the globe.)

I did this project in a lot of different parts in several locations, so please forgive the disparate backgrounds in all of the pictures. This was a pretty simple project, but it still took me a long time to complete. Other than the ugly color, there was also some of the equatorial tape that was scraping off. Other than that, the globe was in really good condition.

There is no easy way for me to take the globe off the bracket (like seriously), so I opted to cover the globe in paper and spray paint the bracket. My dad helped me to cover the globe by cutting slits in the paper and over lapping those slits to better conform to the curved shape. I didn’t actually tape any of the paper to the globe. We tried that and my dad ended up ripping off part of Canada. Oops.

I then went outside to spray paint the bracket. When I was deciding on colors, I wanted something that would go with any decor I chose. I zoned in on glossy black. It was a little nerve-wracking as I painted the globe. I was really unsure if the paper and tape we had used to cover the globe would really work. I crossed my fingers and hoped I wasn’t damaging it.

To my great surprise, the globe had absolutely no paint on it. And it also looked amazing. There were a few spots, especially in the hard to reach places, that hadn’t been painted thoroughly. I sprayed a little paint onto a plastic bag and used a Q-tip to apply it to those missing spots. At the end, I’m very satisfied with my paint job.

The last thing I needed to fix was the equatorial tape. I used some glue and a tiny piece of tape to bring it back into place. This really puts the finishing touch on the globe. I also used a little glue to repair what I could of Canada. The final product is something I’m really proud to see in my home. Do you have any questions about this projects? Or any tips that could have made it easier? Please comment!

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My Moving Timeline

My Moving Timeline

In just 7 weeks, I’m moving from Wisconsin to Washington state. I have so much to do in this time. From the job search to the apartment hunt, it’s really a never ending list. Part of that is getting my things ready to be moved across the country and I only have my Honda Fit and a 5′ x 8′ trailer to do so. Basically, the plan is to purge most of my things (which I’m basically done with), sell anything worth value, and pack the rest as concisely as I can. I’m sweating a little bit just thinking about getting all of this done. Luckily, I’m a  list and timeline driven person, so I’ve parsed this process down to smaller steps.


Purging

After I moved across town in August of 2016, I knew that I had way too much stuff. So, I decided to get rid of or upgrade as much of it as I could. It was a pretty big endevour that was spread over five months. Someday I’ll write a post on it, but for now know that I severally cut down on the amount of stuff I own. Here are the things leftover for my move:

 

  • Purge Pots and Pans on Lazy Susan
  • Decide Which Guitar Music to Keep and Which to Donate
  • Scan All Documents in my File Box
  • Purge Drawers of Desk
  • Purge Inbox on Desk
  • Clean Balcony
  • Purge Storage Closet

 


Selling

I think this will be the most gratifying of all of these. I got quite a few bulky pieces of furniture over the years and I am not moving them all the way across the country. Especially, when I can buy similar pieces once I get to Washington. My hope is that the money garnered from these pieces will help me to pay for necessary expenses such as my security and cat deposits. I broke this one out by time frame and I cross my fingers that 4 weeks on Craig’s List is enough time to sell everything. Anything leftover at the end of July will go to Goodwill.

June 3rd-14th
  • Clean All Items (Vacuum, Dust, Touch Up Paint)
  • Repair All Items (Stitch Holes, Tighten Screws)
June 15th-23rd
  • Take Pictures of Small Items (Lamps, End Tables, Printer, etc.)
  • Take Pictures of Large Items (Couches, Dining Table, etc.)
June 24th
  • Post Items on Facebook (Easier to sell to friends, right?)
July 1st
  • List Items on Craig’s List

Packing

This is the BIG one! And the one I have struggled with the most in the past. Usually my plans start out really well and then somewhere in the middle they break down, which results in a mad dash the day before moving to get everything packed. I think that having less things will help with this. I’m also buying all my supplies a few weeks in advance and keeping them all in one place for ease of use.

4 Weeks: July 1st-7th
  • Wall Decor
  • Knick Knacks and Fragile Items
  • Books (use small boxes)
  • DVDs and VHS’s
  • Storage Closet
  • Balcony
3 Weeks: July 8th-14th
  • Coat Closet
  • Under China Cabinet
  • Under Bed
  • Hall Closet
  • Non-Essential Shoes
2 Weeks: July 15th-21st
  • Bathroom
  • Non-Essential Kitchen
  • Non-Essential Dresser
  • Desk Drawers
  • Nightstand
1 Week: July 22nd-26th
  • Overnight Bag
  • First to Unpack
  • Rest of Dresser
  • Non-Refrigerated Food
  • Rest of Kitchen
  • Rest of Shoes
  • Miscellaneous
2 Days: July 27th
  • Take Drawers / Shelves Out of Everything
  • Plants
  • Cat Stuff
  • Hanging Clothes
  • Computer
  • Television
Day Of: July 29th
  • Pack Any Last Minute Items

 

That is a pretty exhaustive list. (Seriously, I’ve been staring around my house for days trying to think of everything.) I’ll update you once I’ve moved whether my plan worked to make this move as stress-less as possible. For now, I’m going to get started on packing and selling all of my things and praying that it will all fit. Do you have an moving suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

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My 2017 Word of the Year: Phoenix

My 2017 Word of the Year: Phoenix

Starting in 2016, I decided to pick a word for the year that would encompass my overarching goal for what I wanted to achieve that year. Last year, it was tenacity, which was to remind me that my goals can only be achieved if I put the effort in. This year, choosing was a much more difficult task.

I ended last year in a state of turbulence. My to do list consisted of the bare necessities and my previous goals were far off of my mind.

I chose the word phoenix to encapsulate my hopes for the year to come. A phoenix is a mythical bird, when it gets old and frail, it literally bursts into flame to end its life. It is rescinded to ashes in a brilliant flash. But from those ashes, arises brand new life. The phoenix is reborn through that trial by fire. It regrows it’s beautiful feathers and regains its old strength. Then the cycle continues with each demolition resulting in a newly rebuild being.

My fire has already happened. I watched my future, all that I thought my life would be, burn around me. I sat in the ashes. I wallowed in the ashes. I thought I would never see the end of the ashes. In fact, in many ways, the ashes still cling to me. I recognize now, though, that from the ashes of that old life, a new life can be reborn.

That is why I want phoenix to be my word of the year. I want to be reminded that even though I have been through a trial, there can be life after it. I am able to rebuild and rework and reframe. There is no end to me because I am stronger than the flames around me and I will rise form the ashes they have left.

What word would best encapsulate your hopes for the upcoming year? It’s never too late to discover the right one. I don’t expect yours to be quite as profound as mine is, but I do expect it to push you in the right direction for this period in your life. Write in on your fridge or put it next to your mirror as you get ready in the morning (I put mine on my computer). Let it guide you towards an awesome 2017.