How I Became a Girl Boss ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿพ

Pets

It’s hard to really pinpoint when things changed for me. Looking back from where I am now, I can hardly believe what I get to do for a living. I am continually amazed and blessed by all the opportunities that have come my way.

What’s my job, you might ask?

I’m a petsitter.

But I wasn’t always.

I actually used to be a chef. Before that, I scooped ice cream, waited tables and was even a hostess at one point. I basically worked every position in a restaurant…except maybe bar tending or managing. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ When I was a chef, I was used to always being caked in flower, having to clean grease traps and putting up with the public’s every order.

There are parts of kitchens that I miss. The rush. Filling orders. Getting to use really cool knives and carrying them in a fancy knife roll. (You wanna see my knife collection? ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s best if you say that in the accent of The Butcher from Gangs of New York.) There are also parts I didn’t like–like aforementioned grease trap, people who don’t know the difference between medium and medium well—if you say medium, there’s a touch of pink, don’t care if you’re from Minnesota or Arkansas, that is what that term means—and weird hours.

But ANYways, back to the topic at hand. How did I become self employed? How did I get such a cool job of watching pets for people?

Honestly? It was a happy accident.

I’ve always loved animals. I had always grown up with them, taken care of them and just loved being around them. When people didn’t understand those unspoken feelings I had when I was upset, my pets always did. My dogs would always lick my tears off my face, crawl up into bed and lay down next to me until I dozed off and the very next day, they would follow me around, wagging their tails and just wanting to be loved. Isn’t that what we all want? To be loved?

After a few years in restaurants, 5-7, I was burnt out. I had been going to college and…that didn’t pan out either. I just didn’t care about any of it. And when I don’t care about something, there’s no hope.

I quit college, where I was going to get a culinary degree. I quit cooking and started working as a hostess. Still, working in a restaurant, but not having to get burnt by fryer oil or having to crouch behind a cooler to sneak a bite of food because in that business, if you don’t smoke, you don’t get a break.

I went from job to job for a while after that. I tried working in an office. That really wasn’t for me. It was a mold, water, fire and suicide remediation cleanup business. I got a lunch break and I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

From there, I worked at a salon as a receptionist and then I was back in restaurants again, working in a bakery and icing cakes and feeling dejected.

I then started up a petsitting page on Facebook. I had been doing it on the side up until that point and had been wanting to get more serious about it. I posted every day or every other day and I started getting calls and messages.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now, I watch people’s pets while they are gone and get paid to do it. I stay in 3,000 square foot homes sometimes, homes with pools, homes with incredible views, and watch pets and take care of them.

This weekend, I got to watch a farm with 6 dogs, 2 cats, 3 burros, 2 miniature ponies and 5 goats! And yes, 2 of them were fainting goats, but they did not faint for me this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I honestly have to pinch myself sometimes. I cannot believe that this is my life and that this is my job. I know it’s cheesy, but now I really know what people mean when they say, “Do what you love.” I love my job.

I am so glad that I get to do something meaningful and not slough off to a job I hate every day! Every day is honestly an adventure—sometimes I don’t know where I’ll be next, who I’ll meet. My job has also given me free time to focus on blogging, YouTube and social media, whatnot. And for that I’m grateful! I generally have more time to spend with my family and my grandparents, which is very important to me.

I have even been able to plan this trip to Italy with my grandfather, going over to his house a lot of days when I have finished checking on pets.

There is such a freedom and a peace now in my heart and I thank God for that. I am so glad that I get to wake up each day and have an actual purpose. Things make sense now.

When I look back at those years that I saw as wasted in restaurants and in college, I guess it makes sense now. It took me going through all of that…to get to where I am now. โœŒ๐Ÿป

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Crazy Cool Thrifting Finds

thrifting

If you all have followed me long enough, you know that I am a huge advocate for thrifting. ๐Ÿ’ฏ I love it! In fact, there are few things I love as much as thrifting and finding cool things for really cheap except maybe…traveling, my family, my pets…and Chick-fil-A. ๐Ÿ˜‚ #aintnoshameinmygame

I found the cutest little dog figurine! I collect/resell Made In Japan figurines, in particular, the dogs and cats. They can be worth quite a bit actually and are really collectible! Find the ones that are marked “Made In Occupied Japan” and they are worth even more! That means they were made in the 1940s when the allied forces(USA, Britain..maybe some other people) literally occupied Japan! Pretty neat, huh? ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต This little guy is most likely a Japanese Chin or Shitzu if I had to guess.

Another cool find from today, but I didn’t get it at the last minute, was this strawberry sweater. ๐Ÿ“ I am a sucker for kitschy, random stuff. These even had little shine marks and almost popped off the sweater in a 3D sort of way. Really cool.

One sweater I did take home was this awesome Tundra brand sweater with rabbits all over it! ๐Ÿ‡ I love rabbits because of my pet rabbit, Twix, and this one just called to me. The Tundra brand is a well known 1980’s-1990’s crazy Canadian sweater brand. This one was made from Scandinavian wool.

I’m debating keeping it or selling it. ๐Ÿค” I will most likely take more pictures of it, either way, and if it does go on my Etsy, you all will be the first to know!

https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/EdisonsPlace/tools/listings?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Have you all made any great thrifting finds lately? Let me know in the comments! โค๏ธ

How We Saved For Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น (And How You Can Too!)

being thrifty, Travel

ย  Hey, guys! I have the most exciting news EVER to share with you all!

I’m. Going. To Italy!!! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ๐ŸŽ‰

Last night, I found the deal of a lifetime on airline tickets and took the plunge. I literally stopped everything I was doing, ran to my grandparents’ house and called everyone together for a conference because I hadn’t seen prices this low since February. Not only is my grandfather Poppy going to go, but my parents are too! This is amazing and something I’ve only dreamed about for so long. When I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself it was all real! I can’t wait! We’ll be going this next year! โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ

*Sidenote: If you want to find great deals on tickets, look today before they go back up. The tickets I found were under $1,000 roundtrip, which is absolutely unheard of. Use Skyscanner also, they are great and cross compare every other site so you know you’re getting the very best deal possible. โœ”๏ธ*

Now, I always strive to be upfront with my readers, so I want to share with you how we saved up for this trip. It sounds like a really hard thing to do, but really it just took some perseverance and delayed gratification. Here are my top tips for how to save up for yourย next trip!

1. Spend less on the things that don’t matter so you can spend more on the things that DO matter.

This sounds like it should be common sense, but it is hard to put into practice, at first. A lot of times, I will find myself wanting to buy new clothes, go to an expensive restaurant or just buy something I really don’t need. A thing I started doing a few years ago was stopping for 5 minutes or so and just thinking about what it was I wanted, really long and hard. If it was clothes, I would carry them around as I shopped and ask myself, Is this something I can really see myself getting a lot of wear out of? What are some outfit combinations I could come up with, using this item? Is it something I can wear during different seasons? Can I wait and find this somewhere cheaper?

Usually, I found that after 5 minutes, the loud voice inside me screaming, “I WANT THIS!” would dull and I would realize that wasn’t really what I wanted most in the world. What I wanted was to travel the world.

So, try this sometimes, when you feel like you really, really want something and you may surprise yourself. If you still want whatever it is, you should get it.

2. Thrift, coupon, do whatever it takes.

I have bought clothes secondhand about 90% of the time over the last few years, or gone to places like Marshall’s, Ross or places that have great deals on clothes. I use coupons when we go out to eat, but only if it’s a good deal and something we would have gotten anyway. (Hint: Those $5 off when you spend $30 coupons are not worth your time. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™„) Sometimes, Tim and I have split meals also to cut costs.

I also buy hygiene and toiletry stuff only when we need it, but we never run out. I’m one of those people who has to have a back up in case we run out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

3. Speaking of doing whatever it takes…

I bought toilet paper at an estate sale once, which might sound weird, but I bought it in May and didn’t have to get anymore until this month. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 32 rolls for $3, ya’ll. WORTH IT.

If you want to travel and take this huge trip you’ve got planned, sometimes you have to do things other people might look at and call crazy. I also have scaled back on the makeup I’ve worn this year. Since I petsit, I rarely see people anyway, so I started wearing less makeup, which meant buying less makeup, which also made my skin so much healthier. I saved so much money that way! ๐Ÿ’ฐ

I also just recently finally caved and bought some new tennis shoes. I needed them, so I could justify the purchase, but I went for several months with a hole in the sole of them and a chunk missing from the heel. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

This is what I mean by delayed gratification. In our world now, you’re told that you have to have everything you want, right then and there, which is not true. If you use willpower, and occasionally do some things other people think are funny, you can definitely have what you want, in time!

4. Drop the car payment.ย 

It seems like everyone and their mother has a car payment, but hear me out on this one.

Tim and I bought our cars used. I know some people can’t resist a shiny, new car, but that is usually anywhere from $100-$300 extra dollars a month that you could otherwise be saving. I bought my car 2 years ago, used. I had it paid off in exactly 1 year. So, for the last few years, we’ve just done routine maintenance on them, but have no car payment each month, which has helped TREMENDOUSLY.

But don’t just stop with the car payment! Take that cell phone bill and chop it in half. I was paying $120 at Verizon just for myself, so I switched to Sprint and now pay only $80. The more you do this and re-evaluate what you’re spending, even if it’s only by $20, the savings will add up each month! ๐ŸŽ‰

5. Re-evaluate your job.

ย This one is tricky, but something you should do. Maybe you work from home, so your costs are low, but maybe sometimes, you might have a long commute to a job you hate anyway and gas money eats into your paycheck. Sit back and be objective.

I had to do this almost a year ago and haven’t looked back since! I was working part time at a bakery, maybe 6 hours a day. ๐Ÿฐ I didn’t like it at all, but I noticed that my petsitting business was taking off like crazy. I did some figuring and realized, if I dropped the part time job at the bakery and went to petsitting fulltime, I could double or even triple what I was making for hardly any extra effort at all!

Sit back and think about these things before you jump, but sometimes, the answer that makes the most sense is right in front of you.

6. Resell items on Etsy, EBay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

ย This takes a little more discipline, searching and work, but we have made usually on average, an extra $100 a month doing this. You don’t even have to go out and buy things to resell, first look through what you have. What do you not use anymore? Someone out there, most likely, is willing to pay for it and may even need it!

Old clothes, knick knacks, musical instruments, whatever it is, put it out there. We have really enjoyed the Etsyย platform. I go to a lot of estate sales in my free time between petsits, so I find things I think are cool, buy them for cheap, take pictures, and then list them! It’s that easy! Etsy gets your items viewed around the world. We have sent things as far as Norway and France! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I love thinking about the new homes our things go to!

If online posting isn’t your thing, that’s no excuse—have a yard sale! Do whatever it takes. You also get a nice, clean, more organized house out of it! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

7. Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace.

ย  This is in no way a plug and I am deadย serious. It will cost you $100 up front, but taking his class helped us SO much. It helps you with budgeting, being accountable and just getting you motivated to get out of debt if you are in it, save money even if you aren’t and just handle your finances better.

We were doing great saving before, but I have to say, after taking his class, it kicked us into high gear.

I hope these tips have helped! ๐Ÿ˜„ I want you to know that this is possible for anyone. It has taken us years to get to this point, but you CAN do it. And I know saving and waiting can suck, but there is nothing like the feeling you have when you realize you’ve done something, with no help, by yourself and for yourself! โค๏ธโœŒ๐Ÿปโœˆ๏ธ

P.S. I might drop another post on tips for finding the best airline ticket prices, since I’ve been doing this kind of research for over a year. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Who would like to see a post on that?

Love you guys!

{ vintage tee+jean shorts} OOTD

thrifting

ย  The weather has been on point in my hometown. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป Mild and in the 70’s and 80’s.

Today, I broke out some sandals and trekked around downtown. The vintage tee I’m wearing is one I—you guessed it! ๐Ÿ˜œ–found at a thrift store for $3.99 and cut up. It features graphics from the 1992 Olympics and I thought it was pretty neat.

The shorts are also of my own creation, just normal and not high waisted. I also went around thrifting today, looking for more project pieces.

I may do a blog coming up about how I make some of these tshirts into tanks and pants into shorts!


Are there any secrets you all have when it comes to thrifting and making clothes your own? I want to know, so leave some of your tips and tricks in the comments!

Thrifting OOTDs

thrifting

ย  ย So, I was in Target the other day and came across these shorts. They were black, jean material and distressed with holes in them. They were $22.99. What made this funnier to me was that…I was wearing an identical pair that I thrifted at Goodwill and only paid $6.99 for.

I was so excited that I tracked my husband down in the stationary to show him and he got it immediately. “What?!” he had said, “That’s crazy! How much are they?” When I told him, I saw a look of disbelief and then pride on his face, kind of like I was feeling. “I’m going to take your picture!” he had declared.

When you get into thrifting, you get a thrill when things like this happen. You have this moment of, “Heck yeah! I saved some money!” It’s addictive. Once you start, you can’t stop.


The Harvard shirt pictured here is another thrifting find. It, like the shorts, was a little project of mine. It was a tshirt I cut up into a tank, and the shorts were originally pants. ๐Ÿค— I got tired of putting my faith in the retail industry, which insists on selling an inch or two of fabric they call “shorts” for $24.99 and up and decided, you know what? I can make my own.

I set out yesterday, the day before Easter, to thrift my Easter OOTD. ๐ŸฃKind of on a whim. I thought I would just wear something I had, but then I decided I wanted something else. We all know how that is. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚


I ended up scoring this entire outfit, minus the choker and tennis shoes, which I already had.

The floral dress is one from Old Navy, a really nice one. Normally, they retail for $24.99, but I got mine for $8! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Pretty awesome.

The cardigan is Bongo brand, and it would normally sell for $16.99 in stores. I got mine for $5. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป ย So, all in all, my Easter OOTD was under $15!


What do you all think? Do you like thrifting? Also, what do you think of this look? I like dresses, but also love dressing them down and being more casual with tennis shoes. It’s my go to look right now. ๐Ÿ‘€

Also, from me and Twix, hope you all have a Hoppy Easter! ๐Ÿ’•

Tips for Saving ๐Ÿ’ฐ So You Can Travel

being thrifty, how to, Travel

ย The last few days have been excruciating.

You know that feeling you get when you really, REALLY want something? It could be some ridiculously, towering dessert, covered in chocolate and caramel. Or a certain piece of clothing (Okay, you caught me. I really wanted that shirt because it was perfect! ๐Ÿ˜ซ) that you just knowย would fill that gap in your wardrobe.

I’ve been really, really wanting something the past few days, something I can’t just go get at the store, the drive thru, or anywhere else: TRAVEL.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have been trying (and pretty successfully, most days) to come up with ways to save for a big, jet-setting trip to Italy. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น I thought I’d share some of those ways with you all, in case any of you are trying to do the same thing!

Or hey, even if you’re saving up for a car or a house, or anything else! These tips have actually helped my husband and I save up enough to buy the house we’re in now and pay off two cars! ๐Ÿš—


1. Make a Goal Board.

I think it helps you a TON to have a Goal Board, or just a physical representation of what it is you want. The map pictured above is my version of one—Tim bought this map and I’ve stuck red pins in the places I’ve been. It hangs in our living room and I see it everyday; it’s a good reminder of all the places I want to go.

I know people who have done similar things for weight loss goals or getting healthy, by hanging up clothes they want to get into. Or I’ve heard of people just jotting down what it is they want. They make a plan. When you have a plan, it makes your dreams more real and it gives your goals feet. I also post inspirational pictures of where I want to go as my phone’s wallpaper. It even makes me think twice about online purchases! Pictures of Cinque Terre are waaay better than anything I could get on eBay!

2. Stop getting _______.

For me, this was coffee. โ˜•๏ธ Coffee, going out to eat, seeing movies, impulse buys, whatever it may be, cut it out. These things all add up really quickly. I started making coffee and more meals at home. We have a Netflix account, so we just binge watch our favorite shows, like Prison Break, instead of going to movies. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Just look at those types of expenditures that seem to happen 3+ times in a week and consider eliminating them, or at least making a promise that you’ll only go once a week. You’ll be amazed at how much this helps you save!

3. Download a Budgeting App.ย 


This is an example of our budget on an app called Good Budget. It’s free on the App Store ANDย it doesn’t require you to link your personal accounts, like Mint and some other companies, which I just don’t trust.

I really like it because Tim and I can be on it at the same time and put any purchases in there in real time. As you can see, we’ve come up with different categories—you can make up to 10! This has helped us so much to be able to go back each month and look at how we spent our money…and how we wasted it.

4. Get a Total $$$ for your trip.

It helps to have an actual, concrete number in mind. For example, I think I will need right around $6,000 for the trip I want us to take. Having that number in mind helps me to make adjustments to our budget, cut back on spending and it gives me something to work towards!

5. Anything extra you can, save it and DON’T touch it!ย 

When I say don’t touch it, I mean DON’T. TOUCH. IT. Put it away in an account and add to it, but never take from it. This is the only way to really make any headway on saving!

Do you all have any tips for saving money for trips? Are there any trips you’re wanting to go on in the next few months? If you’re on any right now, feel free to share pictures! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’ll be living vicariously through you and drinking my homemade iced coffee!