Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Changes and Giveaways!

Okay, so in the beginning when I first started my original blog [Travelin' With Marie] back in 2009, I used to enter SO many giveaways. Sometimes I won, but they were all digital things like advertisement on other blogs. In the past couple of years, I haven't really done anything to this blog. That will change in 2012. This will be a great year for me. I will be improving my life in so many ways and finally focusing on myself.

Alright, back to the giveaways. The idea for this post is to write about more giveaways. But this time a lot of them will be tangible items that I get to receive in the mail. Who doesn't love actual postal mail? I know I do! So without further ado, here is the first giveaway I will post about.

This giveaway is sponsored by Stephanie Odea. She is giving away 18 books and dvds. There are some good books in the batch! I would love to win any of them, but I'm hoping for The Money Savin' Mom's Budget. If you would like to enter the giveaway, enter here. Here is a picture of the books (taken from her site).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Ways to Save Money Next Quarter

Being a college student is not an easy task. Most of us have to have jobs to pay for living. Going to work and school is more challenging then it seems. Since most of us have minimum wage jobs while we go to school for our dream jobs, we have to live on budgets. There are a few things that I’ve learned from living on a budget. One of those things is to look for discounts in every aspect of your life. Here are some of the basics.
Transportation. Instead of wasting gas driving around campus to find a parking spot, just park at the Sears lot and take the shuttle. Another good option is to ride the bus, which is a lot cheaper than gas. If you really must drive to school, try to carpool with friends and share the expenses.
Books. One thing that all students pay for is books. You can save a lot of money by buying used instead of new. A good website is Amazon.com. They have a lot of used and new books that are significantly cheaper than the school bookstore. After the quarter is over, you can even sell your books back to Amazon. You can even get free shipping with an Amazon prime membership ($79 a year or free for six months to students).
Food. Buy in bulk. If you have roommates or friends with similar taste in food, buy a membership at Sam’s Club or Costco. Not only can you split the cost of the membership, but you can also split the food that you purchase. The quantities are usually larger than you would normally buy, so why not split the price as well as the merchandise? However, you should always check the unit price. The larger quantity item is not always cheaper than the smaller quantity item.
Sales. When it comes to buying new clothes, shoes, and other gadgets that college students use, always shop during sales. Even better when you find extra deals on top of the sales. Sometimes stores, like JCPenney, for example, will have a “Save $10 when you spend $25” coupon that you can find in your Sunday paper. A lot of stores have extra deals like these that you should take advantage of when shopping for new items. Also, don’t rule out used and refurbished. I once bought a refurbished cell phone that looked and worked as good as new.
Coupons. If you really want to save a lot of money, use coupons. I’ve used coupons for seven months now and I’ve saved a lot of money. Sometimes I even earn money to shop! You can use coupons for all sorts of things, food and toiletries being the most common. If you want to learn more about couponing, go to TheKrazyCouponLady.com. The site is actually run by two women, and they are great experts on couponing. They can take a coupon virgin to seasoned pro in no time. Try it out! You will save hundreds!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Color Inspiration - Bedroom

I will be moving out (hopefully!) in a few months and in the meantime I've been thinking about color schemes for the apartment. I will be living with my long time boyfriend/fiance so I don't want anything too girly, but he said he doesn't mind some pink. Regarding my bedroom, I do want some girly touches because it will be half mine. What do you think of these colors?

All of the pink will be on my side (mostly my vanity/desk area), but I still want to go together with the rest of the room. Please let me know what you think! :]

Monday, November 14, 2011

20 Facts About Myself

I don’t really have an about me page (yet, but soon!) so here are a few facts about myself that you may not know. If you already knew it, then pretend that you didn't.. :)
  1. I live in the rainy state of Washington.
  2. I love enjoying artwork, especially paintings and drawings.
  3. I love photography, my future career.
  4. I miss my favorite foods from Hawaii: meat jhun, chicken katsu, and Portuguese sausage.
  5. I live with my parents, but saving up to move out (in Feb – hopefully!)
  6. I love books and journals but never seem to finish one or the other.
  7. I love to write, but I’m not really good at it.
  8. I am a girly-girl, pink lover and all.
  9. I was born a Taurus and very stubborn.
  10. I love the sun and warm water, too bad I live in WA.
  11. I love anything that’s pink, black, and white.
  12. I almost always wear my hair up, with a flower in it.
  13. I love to travel – and anything travel related.
  14. I have a part-time job and I go to school.
  15. I've been couponing for 7 months.
  16. I have three tattoos - and plan to get more.
  17. I live in a city surrounded by water - but it's cold.
  18. I own a Ford - love me some American muscle.
  19. I love receiving, and collecting, postcards.
  20. I’m only 22 years young.

Rule Breakers

Does anybody follow any rules anymore? I'm sitting in the school library, trying to get work done, and all I hear is chatter in my ear. These people talk REALLY LOUD, not giving a care in the world about the people around them. They also sit there on the computer, sipping on their drinks, eating their chips, even though there are signs on EVERY computer that say, "NO FOOD OR DRINK AT THE COMPUTERS." Crazy, right?

This rant is brought to you by the letter A - for ANNOYING. Thank for you listening.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time To Get Focused

After realizing that I haven't worked on ANYTHING since September, my goal for this month - and the rest of the year - is to get FOCUSED. I have a few challenges that I want to work on this month, as well as mini goals for myself. I've always loved my blog name, but I never really been able to define what it means. I've finally realized what it means. This blog is about my life, that part is obvious. I used to think my name meant to explore the world, learn to love it, and grow from my experiences. But it's even bigger than that. It means explore my inner self, love my passions, and grow from experiences.

As for challenges, this is what I plan on working on this month:
1. 101 Challenge - I need to put effort into actually completing this goal.
2. 21-Day Journaling Challenge - I love journaling (especially being a scrapper!) and I think this would be good for me to explore my inner self, my #1 goal for this blog.

Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pink in the Kitchen

I'm SO ready to have my own place. But alas, my money situation is not yet set. In the meantime, I love "window" shopping online for items that I would love to have in my future apartment. Not really decoration items, more like necessity/want items. Things like a microwave. The last microwave that I had was from the year I was born. And when I moved back in with my parents, my mom threw it out. Now I need a new one. I don't really have any requirements in a microwave. A decent size, black color, that's pretty much it. One store I love to shop at, both in store and online, is Target. They have decent prices and gorgeous items. Now, my boyfriend won't allow me to have a pink kitchen. So when I find items that have pink in them, but still match the color scheme (light/dark blue), I get really giddy. Like these prep bowls on the left. Cute?

Well...I searched the site a little bit more and found a GORGEOUS pink Hello Kitty microwave. And he said I could have it! :] It's so cute! It's $79.99. A bit out of my range, not I'm not sure if I'll get it, but I would absolutely love it. What do you think of it?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Mailbox

Today I had a happy mailbox! I received three postcards and one handmade card. Here they are:

#15 Official card from Ukraine

#16 Safeco Field Card from Seattle, WA - Fave Album tag

#17 Wonderful postcard from Japan - Pen Pal Group 107

#18 Hotel postcard from Belgium - Choose a Country Group 37

That's all for today! Thanks for looking! Btw, I have a HUGE batch of mail that I need to post soon..

Friday, February 25, 2011

201 Letters (and Postcards)

Lately I've been spending a lot of time on the Postcrossing forum. I've been so fascinated by sending and receiving mail. A couple of days ago, I received a message from a girl who is home-schooled, along with her two other sisters. Together, they have a project called 2011 Letters. Their goal is to collect 2011 letters, postcards, any piece of mail during the year 2011. It sounded like a great goal and I wanted to start my own as well. But then I thought about it, money-wise. 2011 letters = approx. 2011 dollars. Since I normally send something and then receive something, usually a trade off, I figured I would have to spend at least $2011 dollars in order to receive 2011 letters. So I brought the total down to 201 letters. I feel that's an easier goal for me (and less on my budget). I also participate in many swaps and trades other than letters and postcards so I probably be spending a lot more than $201 anyway. I haven't receive that many pieces of mail so far, so I will count everything beginning of 2011. By definition, my 201 pieces of mail will NOT include bills, statements, junk mail, or anything that isn't really personal. I'm going to college soon, so nothing received from colleges/financial aid don't count either. Only personal letters, postcards, and swaps/tags.

Want to join in? Send me an email at explorelovegrow@gmail.com.
Other ways to contact me: Postcrossing website - Postcrossing Forum
Or, leave a comment below! :]

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Packages Sent

Soo.. after browsing the Postcrossing forum, I was hooked! I loved the idea of swapping items with other people in the world. Simple things to you may be extraordinary things to them and vice versa! So today I sent out my first shipment. They weren't "packages" but they weren't all postcards either. I took some pictures but I don't have them with me right now.. probably will add them later. Anyways, today I sent out about 5 official cards - meaning they have a US-xxxx number. And about 4 envelopes for swaps/tags. I have two big swaps to go shopping for this weekend. I'm so excited - I can't wait to receive some stuff in the mail! :]

Today I also received my first postcard of the year. From Diane from Philadelphia, PA. It is an official card and it is a picture of PA's state capital building. I love it! One of my collections is the state capital buildings. I will upload a picture later also.. For now, I'm gonna eat dinner. Then I will be back with the photos! :]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back in Action!

Soo.. after being on hiatus for almost a year, I've decided to start with Postcrossing again. I sent out about five postcards last week (four already registered) and I will be sending out five more tomorrow. I love Postcrossing! This time around I will be putting more effort into it. I want to create/send/receive more artistic and handmade cards. I will also be updating this blog when I receive new cards or when I send out a handmade card. I am also open for direct swaps so if you would like to swap with me, just send me a message to my Postcrossing account. Don't know what Postcrossing is? Or interested in checking it out? Please click on the image below:

Postcards Exchange

Other than the cost of the stamps/postcards, Postcrossing is free. You don't have to pay to use the site or anything like that. Since you will be receiving cards in return, I think the price isn't too bad!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project Update

Sooo.. I finally updated my blogwear. Now it looks nice and pretty! I love the new look. I know it's been a while since I've updated and scrapped.. ugh. At the end of last month, I got a new laptop. It's faster, slimmer, and a whole lot better. I finally have a laptop that I can use for Photoshop. Before I had to use a different computer and Photoshop would always crash on me. This laptop is totally different. I was able to complete two LOs tonight and it didn't crash on me at all! :]

I will get to the new LOs soon, but first I wanted to update my projects. I know I'm such a slacker and I hate to admit this, but I haven't started any of my projects. As for P365, I'm throwing it in the bucket. I have been doing something else that similar to it though. My new laptop has a webcam and I use to take, what I call, an almost daily snapshot. I try to take a snapshot everyday but I have missed some days and that's okay with me. Who really needs 365 photos anyway? At the end of every month, I will compile the photos and put it in a LO or 2-pager, depending on the amount of photos. And at the end of the year I probably will pick my favorites and make another 2-pager.

On to the Day Zero Project. I've decided to just update my last list and keep the same date. I figure it's less time to complete the goals. And that makes it more of a challenge, right? I probably will update my list soon, once I figure out what to put on it. I still want to do the 30 day challenge and the Love, Me Project, but I think they will have to wait. Starting too many projects at one time is too much for me at the moment. Right now I'm focusing on getting into and paying for colleges. Personal projects can come later.

Okay, I know I said I was gonna post the LOs but they will have to wait for tomorrow. Good night everyone! :]