Thursday, June 30, 2011

*My Future Apartment*




I'm moving!



To Michelle and Her Future Apartment!

The residents of my dream apartment gave notice today. So, I will collect the keys for a beautiful one bedroom with a balcony on the second floor on Friday, September 9th, and then move my stuff that following weekend. Plus I can probably afford a sofa to go in it!

Back in January when I was setting New Year's Resolutions and contemplating the year ahead, I did not think I'd be moving this calendar year! This early!

I'm so excited! I'll be happy out on my own again.

Even though I toasted this wonderful news with an icy pop this afternoon, I hope to clink glasses with a real drink in my hand soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

dream apartment update



The resident of my dream apartment came in to speak with my boss (who was elsewhere today) about breaking her lease on August 31st. I was busy so I only could speak with her for just a bit. I very briefly mentioned how I wanted to move in. Mid-September's reallyreally early. I just don't know... about my finances. I would have to think about it. All this just happened.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Italian Experiences and Recent Thoughts

This morning I visited Panera to have a cappuccino (in an actual mug!) and a chocolate pastry. I thoroughly enjoyed them while reading some of the latest Budget Travel in this cafe setting.  With "Intimate Italy" on the cover, I liked the feature article which focuses on the relaxing Piedmont region. I'm so happy I recently decided to renew my subscription another couple of years; it's totally worth it. The July/August issue also has an article on the Grand Tour, recommending guided European excursions, on a budget of course. I would love to have this kind of travel experience next. 'Next' being years from now though, when I am able to afford it. Some of the magazine's photography makes me stop and stare, this time it was a small image of "Picturesque Prague."


Speaking of inspiring imagery, I caught a bit of the movie Letters to Juliet on TV today and its still shot of Piazza Erbe at sunset helped me decide to return to Verona on my last trip. I loved that piazza... My lunch at a sidewalk cafe there was the most memorable meal I had on my last trip. My pasta dish with vegetables was so well done and happens to be a favorite of mine anyway. I discovered my new favorite wine at that table, the local Valpolicella. Each week for the last two weeks, I bought a bottle of it and enjoyed a glass or two a night with dinner or simply to unwind while it lasted. I scored the Bolla brand for $9.99. Much as I would love to continue, it's a luxury I will enjoy a bit more sporadically ...but, anyway, it was the scenery, the beautiful piazza decorated over centuries, that secured the win for most memorable meal.

From a Trattoria on Piazza Erbe in Verona, Italy

I recently wrote that my car's air conditioning was fixed by my work's maintenance guy. ...and it's now back to its old tricks. I just can't afford to fix it, especially not if I plan to move this calendar year. I'm still waiting to hear about that perfect apartment. I really want that one. I still daydream about living on my own again all the time. Overzealous in making as many bill payments as possible recently, I'm particularly poor until payday this upcoming Friday... I'm such a spender trying to save, so it's just hard. I am successfully saving a lot and an apartment will make me so so happy and will be completely worth it, it just makes for a not-so-exciting life. I don't go "out" so much anymore, which I so enjoy. I'm such a rewards spender, you know, I work hard so I deserve to treat myself. In addition to going out to eat or drink in some way, I want material possessions too. Specifically, I want the items on my Amazon wishlists that have been there awhile. One list is devoted to the decoration of my future apartment and the other is for clothes. I would love to purchase that duvet I previously posted about and a classic black wrap dress from Ann Taylor. I'm dreaming of purchasing them on payday, but we'll see... I did sign up for emails from each company, so as a result, I'll save like 10% on each one of them if I do decide. I also have my trip to Connecticut during the middle of July to save for and look forward to. I'll go out plenty then. I'll enjoy staying in much more in my own place. As you can tell, I can't wait!

The Duvet and Shams I Desire from Z Gallerie.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Future Apartment?

I love these windows...

Yesterday when I was working at my apartment community, one of my residents came in and inquired about breaking her lease due to financial difficulties. I answered her questions and took her number so that my boss could answer even more. Being in leasing, I casually asked if it was a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment home. I found out that it's a one bedroom. On the second floor. With an upgraded kitchen and bathroom. In the building I want to be in. All of those features describe exactly what I want. Perfect! I practically went weak in the knees! I so want to move there!

After my boss returned her call today, I found out that the occupants are staying until their lease ends on October 31st, and are not breaking their lease. Which is good as I couldn't afford to move before then, so this is what I wanted to happen. It'd be a stretch, but I could possibly consider it for November. ...and just really budget. ...but will this couple decide to go when their lease ends? Or improve their financial situation soon? She said that she would tell my boss if they are staying or going this week, way before the required 60-day notice date of September 1st. So, I may know about my next apartment home very soon! ...and it could possibly be the best apartment in my community in my hometown, the most perfect one for me! I am so anxious, anxious excited of course, but anxious!

So... could everyone out there who reads this thing please hope I get it? Then, maybe the universe will make it happen for me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Year's Resolutions Update

The end of June means that the year is half over. Ever the goal-oriented one, I'm happy to report that I've made some progress on my New Year's Resolutions. At the beginning of the year, I knew that this would be my year of work, to be able to implement major life changes in 2012.  Without further ado, my goals and progress:

1. Significantly pay down my credit card debt. (More specific goals and action plans are for me to know.)
This is a work in progress and I have a long way to go. Working hard to save, I am becoming more and more budget-minded everyday. As of today, I only have two credit cards, when I started the year with four. I often went without to pay off those two prior to closing them. Unfortunately, the two I plan to keep carry the larger balances, so I cannot cross this resolution off.

2. Find a new job and escape retail.
I escaped! I finally found a job as a Leasing Consultant at an apartment community the first week of March. I've been there over 90 days now. I work there to hopefully take advantage of the discount on rent early on in 2012.

3. Pack my lunch the night before a workday.
Fail. Oh well... I still have six months to work on this one.

4. Only possess what I love, want and use.
I truly have pared down and love it.

5. Have a fabulous time on my little trip to Italy.
I am so happy that I made Italy happen this year. I truly had a fabulous time.



A Crystal Chandelier! This would make a fabulous housewarming gift!
just kidding

With my debt manageable with new bills, enough money saved and an emergency fund established, I will move into a one bedroom apartment in my apartment community sometime in 2012!

I hope it will be early 2012! I tell myself January 1st to make myself feel better plus to work towards a more concrete goal. I simply cannot wait to have my own place again! This Miss Independent will be soo happy! I can hardly wait to... to decorate how I want and to entertain and to hostess out-of-town guests and to shop for my own food in a grocery store and cook how I want and for less than five people and not drive to work and walk to my beloved Target a block from property! With my own place, I will also sign up for match.com again; I've always been pretty successful with it. Even though no guy I've gone out with has thought it a problem (or voiced it anyway), I hate mentioning the fact that I live with my parents. So I'll probably also be dating next year, which is really fun. Always a daydreamer, I now think about living in an apartment all the time! What's more is that I'm even dreaming what my apartmentwarming party will be like! Italian antipasti and bottles of my new favorite red wine Valpolicella (to hopefully warm up a sooner winter day)??? (That's the local wine I enjoyed in Verona.) Or a bright festive New Year, New Home theme? Ooh or maybe Chinese New Year? It'll be the Year of the Dragon! ...if it'll be sometime during the month of January! I'm also taking volunteers to help me move! (Refer to resolution number 4 if you're having doubts!) There'll be plenty of pizza and bottles of beer for after! I hope to not have snowmaggedon this year!

My life hasn't been the most exciting ever when I'm not spending so much money, but I did have a fabulous time Friday night. A friend and I wined and dined over an Italian feast. Lots of food and lots of girl talk. It was nice to "get ready" and dress for dinner too. I wore my favorite sheer black top over a black camisole and a dark jean skirt. My friend looked great with a purple top (that I so want to borrow!) also paired with a jean skirt. Great minds think alike.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

summer-ready

I've been running 'round without air conditioning in my car since the end of last summer. With all the recent heat waves, it's been very hot. But yesterday, the wonderfulwonderful maintenance guy at my job fixed it! He ran the contents of two cans of stuff through the A/C system. He said it was a temporary fix that could potentially last up to a year (especially if I didn't have a more serious leak). If it lasts a month, it'll be beyond fantastic! I am so very grateful. Here's to an even better summer!


I am also more ready for the summer wardrobe-wise. I was drawn to JCPenney for their white eyelet sundresses, most priced at just $29.99. What's more perfect for summer than white eyelet? ...but they didn't have them left anywhere near my size on a busy Friday night, with both a sale and a coupon out. Luckily, I scored the cutest black and white dress for $20 there instead (senza coupon). I can hardly wait to wear it! The black embellishes this white dress, so hopefully I'll be tan soon to really rock it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the search is on

I am considering replacing my comforter. My current comforter set is only a couple years old, but, still, it's time for a change. So far, my favorite is this one from Z Gallerie:


This is very close to a quatrefoil pattern. It's definitely sophisticated ...and it would go with lavender accessories well. To add to this bedding ensemble, I could simply pick up a couple lavender Euro pillows or a smaller decorative pillow in the shade. ...or perhaps pillows in a medium warm pink? Or a rich red? My white sheets and other white bedroom accents (like my white lamps and curtains) would also work. I prefer the charcoal grey and white, but this duvet is also available in aquamarine, apple green, and orange. I'm not sure if this is the one yet... If it was, I would purchase a queen duvet and two standard shams. I'm looking forward to refreshing my bedroom with this particular change.

Monday, June 6, 2011

fresh flowers, the giveaway winner, and yet another trip!

This week I decided to pick up a big bouquet of flowers made of different varieties. I figured I would be a natural at arranging them in a vase because I am kinda artsy ...but I guessed wrong. I think that there are just too many colors. They're still beautiful, but I certainly think I have a way to improve and should really stick to one color of one kind of flower, plus find a shop/stand that sells more than two types of flowers like the grocery stores that I've been patronizing do. ...oh well, you live and you learn.

Mine wasn't as nice as this arrangement.
    


And the winner of my 100th Post Giveaway is... stellab31! Congrats! The One Hundred should go out tomorrow.



Believe it or not, I am currently planning yet another trip! I feel fortunate to be able to go on so many. I'm really looking forward to visiting an old college friend in the middle of July. She lives just outside of New Haven, Connecticut. I know there'll be polo and pizza, who knows what else!

Friday, June 3, 2011

*my beautiful BlackBerry*

Thanks to my sister's recommendation about the nice guys at AT&T and those helpful gentlemen themselves, I just purchased my first smart phone! I got the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 in shiny charcoal that I said I wanted in this post. Here it is...


Isn't it cute? I adore it already! ...I just have to figure out how to use it...

I have a new number, so if you read this and know me personally, you can email me or leave a comment requesting it. Of course, I'll be sending it out to my nearest and dearest as soon as I can.

Speaking of leaving me a comment, make sure you enter my 100th post giveaway by the 6th from my last entry found here.