Showing posts with label tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tips. Show all posts

Repair Your Credit Yourself - How to go from Bad Credit to Excellent Credit!

I definitely don't claim to be a financial expert, I'm not well-versed in finances, and my credit history could be viewed as spotty at times - but that's why I wanted to make this post.

I brought my credit score from a scary number (that literally caused multiple declined applications) to a "nearly perfect" score without help from any paid service or individual. If you're in the same boat, I want to help YOU do the same. I was able to finance a house this year, bought a car last year, and I have some high $$$ credit cards now and I'm proud of this - I "worked" on my credit to get here and I think everyone deserves to know how to fix their credit score.

You may think this is a sponsored post, encouraging you to sign up for x,y, or z... but it's not. I legit want to share how I changed my life and help you change yours.



We'll start with finding out your credit score (if you don't already know).


I personally use CreditKarma.com, you may have heard of this website and that's great! It's completely free and they help you keep tabs on your credit without dinging your credit or showing a "hard pull". I should mention, as we were going through our loan officer for our home loan I was told that your "actual" credit score and the one Credit Karma offers you vary slightly - in my case, my actual score was higher than what CK had on file, but he said it can and does happen the other way around. Either way, it's a good way to ball park where your credit stands and help you evaluate what your next steps should be.

Credit Karma pulls your Transunion and Equifax credit scores, which are two of three well-known credit reporting agencies. My scores on the two services they use often differ slightly, but are close enough that I'm comfortable relying on them.

I love that you can click on each credit score and see which accounts are listed, what they are reporting, etc. I check my credit weekly to make sure I don't miss a thing and I honestly recommend everyone else does the same.

Beyond how the service works, let's get to the point.



I repaired my credit with CreditKarma by:



1. Disputing - The first step I took in repairing my credit was disputing the untrue or outdated information on my credit report. Do you have "bad credit" or "bad debt" that's more than 7 years old? Dispute it! Are you fighting medical collections that you've already paid in full? Dispute it! Did someone steal your identity and those dings are still on your report? Dispute it! Luckily, CK makes this process super easy, with both major credit companies.

You'll simply click the accounts tab, then click on any item you wish dispute and follow the directions from there.

You may wonder if that bill you forgot about in 2007 is worth fighting to get off your credit...? Let me tell you, it 100% is worth fighting! It takes a few minutes to fill out the form to dispute an account and it could raise your credit score tremendously.

Obviously, you can only dispute the untrue or outdated items on your report - but disputing some of the accounts on my credit saved my score so it's definitely the first thing I advise anyone looking to repair their credit to do.

2. Opening - This may seem obvious but opening and utilizing credit is a huge way to build your credit. I'm not suggesting you go out and get a card and go buckwild... But open a Visa & use it for gas purchases, then pay off a majority of the balance each month. That rotating credit will do your score wonders. It may "ding" your credit at first to open a new account, but if you are paying it almost entirely off then you'll soon reap the rewards!

Be mindful when opening credit cards (or any line of credit). You'll want to watch for annual fees and the interest rate being offered - don't be fooled by a great introductory offer, shop around and find a card that fits your life!


3. Pay Off - Hard work pays off and so does paying off debts in the smartest way possible. I'm going a little Dave Ramsey on you here, even though I don't fully follow (or support) his ideology. I think his snowball method to paying off debt is genius, while some of his other advice isn't for me. With that said, his idea towards debt is to pay the minimum monthly payment on all debt, except for the lowest debt you have. So if you have a school loan totaling $30,000, a car loan totaling $15,000, and a couple of credit cards with balances ranging from $5,000 to $500. You'd quickly pay off that $500 credit card while paying the minimum for all other debts - then work your way up on the scale of debts from there, applying larger payments as you pay off your debts and don't have to pay so many debts.

It sounds complicated, but it's actually fairly simple. It's more rewarding psychologically to pay it off this way since you are ridding yourself of debt in a faster manner but there's other methodologies you may be interested in as well - debt avalanche methodology being one that is "less rewarding" in the short-term but extremely helpful in avoiding excessive amounts of interest.

Regardless of which methodology you choose to pay off your debts, make a plan and adhere to it and your credit score will begin rising!

4. Keep it up - This one is a given, but continuing all the above and monitoring your credit score is a must. Recognize what's helping your score and continue doing that, whether it's paying down your balances, opening up a few cards and starting to rotate balances, or removing untrue remarks - you'll need to keep on top of your score and keep on working at it.


So tell me, have you had trouble in the past with your credit? Are you ready to try and repair your mistakes? Let's hear about where you stand in the comments below!




10 EPIC IKEA FINDS FOR $10 & UNDER

Growing up means I'm obsessing over wall colors and collecting home decor more and more. I can often be caught daydreaming about owning a white couch or sometimes I'll be off in Amazon-land collecting things I'd like to add to my knick-knack shelf in my cart to "save for later".

TROMMA Wall clock, white, 9 ¾ "

If you're also like me and clean, cutely decorated pinterest-styled-homes obsessed, then this little list of amazing IKEA finds for under $10 is right up your alley - and get this, you can buy a few of these items for each person on your shopping list this holiday and it won't break the bank!

So let's get this party started!

10 EPIC IKEA FINDS FOR $10 & UNDER




1. MULA AbacusOne yellow, three greens and two blue ones.  Help your kiddo develop critical thinking and logical skills with this nifty little old-fashioned bit of a rainbow. In-stores for just $9.99!

 
MULA Abacus


2. HYLLIS Shelf Unit - This industrial looking, practical storage space is just what every space needs. Open, yet accomodating to all belongings. Grab one of these for just $9.99!

HYLLIS Shelf unit, indoor/outdoor, 23 5/8x10 5/8x29 1/8 "




3. TOFTLUND Rug - This adorable rug is just the right amount of "texture" for any room. Whether you use it as expected, on the floor... or you could mix things up and drape it at the end of your bed or it may possibly provide just enough of a boho vibe if you hang it on the wall? The ways to use this little piece of sheep-skin lookalike material are endless and all of them are adorable. This little taste of heaven can be added to your cart for just $9.99 and is a must have!

TOFTLUND Rug, white, 1 ' 10 "x2 ' 9 "


4. MÅLA Portable drawing case - This super adorable little craft storage is what I like to think of as a child's version of a briefcase! With a hard surface for them to craft upon, this is perfect for around the house or long travels in the car, ringing in at just $9.99 - this is a must have under the tree this year!
MÅLA Portable drawing case, red, 13 3/4x10 5/8 "




5. HEMLAGAD Crepe/pancake pan - Breakfast is served! This crepe/pancake pan is one your kitchen is calling for! Become the Top Chef in your kitchen for just $7.99!

HEMLAGAD Crepe/pancake pan, 10 "


6. VARDAGEN Glass in blue - There's just something so nostalgic about these glasses... and I'm gonna go ahead and indulge in some bevies in these beauties for the low price of just $4.99 for a pack of 4!
VARDAGEN Glass, blue, 10 oz



7. POLARVIDE Throw in gray - This warm, fleece throw is an unexpected gift from IKEA. It's such a brilliant neutral,with a sweet scalloped edge, and comes in at just $3.99! Everyone on your list needs a new blanket for that price.

POLARVIDE Throw, gray, 51x67 "



8. SPARKÄR Door mat in green leaves
- This precious little plant lady door mat is literally the bee's knees! I'm beyond obsessed and think it's the perfect mixture of inviting and adorable without being too much! Add a buffalo plaid mat underneath it and we'll go ahead and call it the perfect "modern farmhouse" look we all want...amIright? Add to cart for just $7.99!

SPARKÄR Door mat, indoor, green leaves, 1 ' 4 "x2 ' 0 "



9. TROMMA Wall clock in white - This adorable clock arrived to IKEA just in time... HA. See what I did there? But seriously, this is such a cute piece to add to a gallery wall and for just $1.99, you might as well grab a few as gifts!

TROMMA Wall clock, white, 9 ¾ "



10. SANNAHED Frame in white - This adorable little frame makes the perfect shadow box for your photos or artwork. Coming in both black and white, I know these will be decorating our walls. Want to add some to your home? Grab one for just $4.99!

SANNAHED Frame, white, 9 ¾x9 ¾ "

That's a wrap for 10 of the best items from Ikea for under $10! Which one is on your list this year?


Simple Snowman Countdown to Christmas Chain

 



This month I'm taking more time to embrace the little moments with my growing girl. After a year of running on overdrive for my small shop, I stepped back around Thanksgiving and realized I owe it to both of us to spend more quality time together, so we've been laughing more, cuddling tons, and doing non-stop craft projects. I thought I'd start to share our daily craft projects and hopefully inspire you to get your hands messy with your little one!



Today I'm sharing a super simple, yet adorable craft - our Snowman Countdown to Christmas Chain is something nearly everyone has the materials to make and it's such a fun way to visually show your kids how many days are left until Christmas. I highly recommend pinning this project and getting it completed early in December so that it's a fun, drawn out countdown! We started our countdown with 26 days left until Christmas and I'm so excited to watch D's face as the links go away and she realizes Christmas is almost here!

Ready to start making your Snowman Countdown to Christmas Chain? Let's do this!


Materials:
White Printer Paper
Glue
Scissors
Black Construction Paper
Markers

You'll start by cutting the white printer paper into the amount of days you are counting down... we started at 26 days so cut out 26 pieces of paper.

We then made one into a circle, gluing the ends together. Then continued that process, having Delainey help thread each piece through the next and place the glued ends together. Continue connecting until you have only one piece remaining.




Once we had all of our pieces of connected, sans one. We drew a cute snowman face on the last piece, threaded it through, and attached the ends.

We then cut out a little hat and attached with glue.

The final step was showing off our hard work and hanging it up so we could start counting down the days until Christmas!


Have you made a countdown or are you using a pre-purchased advent calendar? Tell me all about how you're counting down the days until Christmas in the comments below!



How I'm Taking Care of Me with a Little Self Care #FallForSelfCareBBxx

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.



Lately, I'm learning that taking care of myself is just as important as taking care of those around me. From making sure I feel beautiful, to renewing my soul, I'm really working on ME lately and reminding myself who I am, knowing that this makes me a better mom, wife, and friend to all. It's funny because I was so invested in my family for so long, I almost forgot what a good day of self-care looked like... then Babbleboxx sent over this box of goodies for me to test out and it changed the way I take care of myself for the better.


The first big change for me was subtle BUT so revitalizing, I changed my hair color for the better and I'm so thankful to eSalon for making the best color I've possibly ever had. It came in a kit, with instructions prepared just for me so it was easy as pie to use and I think the results were incredible.


Before using their dye, I was starting to notice grey hair (thanks to parenting during covid, I'm sure LOL)... Luckily, they know that no two people are the same, our hair is ALL different and eSalon matches your hair with a formula made specifically for you. I asked for a shade with red violet in it and they sent over a BEAUTIFUL mahogany shade that matches my complexion so well, it looks like my natural color.


As you can see, it was a small change but the greys being gone and a luxurious, natural looking color literally have changed the way I view myself and my appearance. I'm proud to wear my hair down, I've been styling it more and loving the way I look!


Another thing I've been loving while I have a minute of alone time, is the book they sent over... A Fool's Paradise by Author Robyn Williams is a great read and a good escape. Before I had my daughter I loved to read, but I've done less of it the older she gets - not using her as an excuse, but my brain is tired after being her playmate all day long. Ha. I'm sure other mamas can relate... but this book is perfect to pick up and read during nap time and good way to renew my mind with a little escape. If you're looking for something you don't want to put down, then I suggest grabbing a copy of A Fool's Paradise.


Another thing I'm highly recommending from the Babbleboxx was the Lip Plumping Gloss from Grande Cosmetics. GrandeLIP is a high gloss, volumizing plumper and it makes me feel BEAUTIFUL. My poor lips have always been super dry and this gloss changed that right up and made them look fuller and more hydrated. In just 3-5 minutes, I feel like a new woman with fuller, more beautiful and glossy lips! Want to give GrandeLIP a try? Use the code SELFCARE10 to save!

We all know hand sanitizer is a commodity these days, so when they sent over a couple of different bottles, I was so excited to be provided a little bit of peace of mind. The Born Basic sanitizer is straight shooting and to the point, no gimmicks in their branding - simple and to the point, they are a necessity and they don't fluff up their packaging which is nice. I love that I can stick a bottle in my purse and head out to run some errands without worrying about germs as much, knowing I have this non-sticky, soothing formula of sanitizer in my bag!


The last thing in my Babbleboxx was the Nail and Foot Repair products from Kerasal. It's like they knew I was dying for a pedicure and supplied me with some goodies to give myself an ultimate healing one, AT HOME!  


The Kerasal Intensive foot repair was the perfect way to soothe my feet and deeply moisturize them. I noticed a change in my heels overnight... and couldn't even believe it! I just lather it on, stick on some socks and let it soak in. Interested in getting your feet in tip-top shape? Check out Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair for yourself.


The multi-purpose intensive nail repair was just what my toes were begging me for. After years of getting my toes done, I've noticed some serious signs of "aging" and was freaking out about the way they looked. It was something only I knew about, but something I was embarassed about nonetheless. Then I tried this stuff and realized it was just what I needed! Kerasal's patented formula helps improve nail appearance by reducing discoloration, smoothes the surface hydrates and normalizes your nails - making them look beyond healthy again!



Speaking of feeling healthy again, I bet you can see why I'm feeling all the good self-care vibes after receiving this Babbleboxx. So tell me, how do you practice self-care? What's your favorite way to "treat yourself" while you are still dealing with your day-to-day routine? 


 

 

Staying Hydrated While Finding Balance with Nestlé Pure Life+

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Pure Life®+ but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.





Finding balance in life can be a struggle at times, especially during this crazy time in our lives.




Whether we are trying to work from home just the right amount or adjusting back to life in the office again, while trying to devote the correct amount of time to our family, and searching for a moment of relaxation, while also occasionally reminding ourselves not to overindulge, and sometimes even just searching for motivation, etc... most of us are striving to live balanced lives in one way or another, whilealso searching for ways to help us live that ideal life.


While I don't have it all figured out and I'm also still seeking balance in many aspects of my life, I have come to realize a few things that are truly important in my life and that help me live my most balanced life and I figured I'd share them with you today:



We'll start with something simple, but so important. I personally know that I never get enough water. I mean, I only drink water (for the most part) but not always the "necessary" amount that I need so it's something I'm really working on. Making sure my body is hydrated is important to me for so many reasons, I mean, we are mainly made up of water so making sure our body has enough of it is VITAL. Some days are easier than others to get enoughin and most definitely some water is better than others, and that's why I started sipping on these amazing Nestlé® Pure Life®+ water beverages-I think they are the best drinks


These refreshing little bottles have unique minerals to help you get throughthe day and they taste pretty amazing too. With specific minerals and tasty flavor, I couldn't ask for more!

The best part is there's a Nestlé Pure Life+ made to meet your every need:



  • You can get a little pick me up with the +revive with Magnesium. It is lemon flavered and helps with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.


  • The Nestlé Pure Life+ active has potassium, with a delicious orange flavor, that helps with normal muscle function. This is my favorite go to drink whenever I'm doing a little backyard "hot yoga". I mean, you can't beat a little cold water during a good stretch!

  • Feeling a little under the weather? Try Nestlé Pure Life+ protect, which comes with zinc-something we all could use to help maintain normal immune systemfunctioning and the blackberry flavor is pretty delicious too!

Not only are these beverages refreshing and delicious, I love that I'm able to stock up on all the delicious Nestlé Pure Life+ my heart desires while browsing Walmart.com. So go ahead and clickadd to carton a pack of Nestlé Pure Life+ while you are checking out with your summer essentials!



If you're wanting to try just one flavor first, I personally found an adoration for the Lemon flavor... but honestly, they all are amazing and have unique minerals for normal body functioning and each flavor is extra refreshing in it's own way, so you can't go wrong! Go ahead, add to your cart, and try Nestlé Pure Life+ today!



Beyond constantly trying to stay hydrated, I'm also constantly reminding myself that I need to try to stay present to truly find balance in my life. Playing with my daughter, on her level, and actually engaging is so important right now, to both of us. If you're a parent, I'm sure you understand how important it is to give our kiddos our undivided attention right now, more than ever. The time spent truly "playing" with our kids isn't just for fun, it helps them learn, cope, and feel at peace... and frankly, it helps me do the same.


Today we did a quick little project and I figured I'd share our results. These fun "paintings" were so easy to make and we had a blast making them! I'll be sharing the directions on how we made them tomorrow.


Another way I'm trying to achieve balance in my lifeis by intentionally practicing self-care. I've not always been the nicest to myself, I've been known to bash my looks, point out my flaws, and frankly, I've neglected what my body needs at times. But I feel like I've matured, I'm done with bashing this body, I'm taking the necessary actions to make sure I feel loved and pampered. I'm making sure I take the time to read, do yoga, design, and create, and it feels so good. I'm also finding joy in doing my makeup and just overall feeling more "me" again. It may sound simple, but this step is truly helping me find an inner balance I haven't felt in a long time.



So tell me how do you try and find balance in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

The BEST Way to Make Homemade Bubbles




This year we've spent a ton of time at home, like many people. That means we've been trying to find ways to keep our little wild child occupied... and that involves lots of time spent outdoors, chasing bubbles through our backyard and sometimes even having competitions to see who can make the biggest bubbles.


We used to be the type to buy bubbles from the store...then we experimented and started making our own. Want to make your own...? Here's how:


Learn How to Eat After 7 & Still Lose Weight with 'Always Eat After 7PM'!

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. Regardless, the opinions expressed below are my own.


Over my lifetime I've always kind of struggled with my weight, I've fluctuated up and felt uncomfortable in my own skin, I've lost a ton of weight, then gained it all back again during pregnancy, I've slowly worked my way back down to a comfortable number now, but I'm still struggling to lose this last little bit. Honestly, I was growing a bit weary trying all of these different ways to lose with hardly any results.

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs






But, luckily I was offered an advanced copy of, Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion , and I'm so excited to see how this book changes things for me and my weight loss journey, so far, it's been a delightful read thus far - so I thought I'd share here and I plan to continue to share how always eating after 7 is working for me and why I think it may work for you too.

You may be thinking, it sounds like always being able to eat After 7 is too good to be true...doesn't it? What makes this "diet" different from all of the others?

Well, this quote from the beginning of the book sums it up clear as day - "If it looks like I’m handing you another restrictive diet, let me be clear: Always Eat After 7 pm is totally unlike other programs. It defies the most common dietary rules (like “no snacking” and “no carbs”) and it is specifically designed to work with your body’s natural hormonal systems, instead of working against them."

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs



That means you can eat what your body wants, you can snack, you can even have the 'forbidden' carbs most popular diets don't allow, but the best part is, gaining the ability to eat after 7 will renew you each and every day. I love that I'm able to keep up with my sweet girl better and it's because I've found a new way to live...

Honestly, who doesn't want to feel refreshed, like their foodie desires are satisfied, and that they can eat later at night without gaining weight? It pretty much sounds like perfection to me.

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs



 I can't wait to share my results while I continue learning more from this book and trying the supplements Joel recommends, I look forward to hearing your input too!

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase. Get your copy here.



Finding Joy & Giving Grace During the COVID-19 Pandemic





As we all know, life has been crazy lately.

I personally am in a constant mixture of high stress and finding comfort in a "new normal", as you likely are as well.

Between hearing the news ramble on and on about statistics, to discussing it all with skeptical and also hysterical friends, to seeing startling numbers roll along on the ticker tape bottom of the screen, then following that up with personal accounts of terror (and also joy) via social media... it's all been overwhelming. I'm basically just a walking exclamation of "What... The... Eff" a majority of the time!

While I'm struggling regularly and fairly confused on what's to come, we as a family have spent the past week doing things we should have been doing all along.



We've went for walks almost daily, we've spent time running through our sprinkler in the backyard, we've played so many board games I've lost count, we've busted out the sidewalk chalk, gone on Virtual Reality field trips. We have spent true quality time together and it's been beautiful.

While taking care of our family in this way has been amazing, I've also pampered myself too! I've spoiled myself while self-quarantining with lengthy baths, I've spent more time praying than I think I have in my entire lifetime, and I've found a pace for my work that seems sustainable. I'm also going to begin journaling again and I've decided to attempt to bust out my old paint stuff to express myself there as well.

I'm not saying this Pandemic has been joyful, because that would be insensitive and frankly, I'm missing "normal", but I will say I've found some joy among the terror.

I've found moments where I sit back and admire my blessings. I've found joy in the way my daughter giggles in a wild way whenever we play a game and she is winning. I just love the way my dogs light up when they see us put on our shoes to go for a walk and I've found a real adoration for the way my husband smiles as he hands me my vitamins and espresso in the morning. I'm trying to see the glimmers of normal, I'm trying to embrace the rays of happiness while this grey cloud is looming overhead.

And with all of that said, finding comfort in a Pandemic doesn't make much sense.

Here's the thing, nothing makes sense right now. We're all learning to cope... we're all learning to just be within this new life of ours. This is our first time being in this state of mind, most of us have never faced something of this magnitude and a majority of us are just scared.

Some of us are ordered to "shelter-in-place", some of our states are free to roam, and all of us are going through something we haven't ever been through before.

No matter how you're feeling. Whether it's thankful, angry, grateful, or anxious -
give yourself some grace today, this week, and frankly, for the rest of your lifetime.

Also, STAY HOME.
Said with love.