“Terrified but ready. Or maybe I’m not even ready. I just know I need to jump. Jump into living again. I’m scared to death of change, of not knowing, of the what if’s. God, give me the strength to let go of the things I white knuckle. Give me the wisdom to know what choices to make and the strength to actively take those steps.” journal entry February 12, 2016 6:32AM.
Five hours later, with a car packed full of clothes, silverware, my computer and houseplants, I left North Carolina and started my new life in Virginia Beach.
It’s been a year and I have absolutely loved living in this 500 square foot carriage house. Initially, I came to Virginia Beach to visit a friend who lived in an East Beach carriage house. She told me about a carriage house for rent two streets over, so I called. The owner said it had already been claimed, but their tenants would not be arriving for two months. Being a stubborn won’t-take-no-for-an-answer kind of girl, I asked if they would rent it to me for the next two months. They even loaned me an air mattress, desk, and desk chair. This allowed me to see if I liked living in Virginia without signing a year lease. Ok, I’ll be honest, commitment is a scary thing. I knew in two months I could move back to North Carolina if I wanted.
At the end of those two months, I was put in contact with the owner of a carriage house for rent across the neighborhood. This one was fully furnished. Again, my fear of commitment kept me from signing a year lease. If I paid cash up front, they would allow me to sign a three month lease. At the end of those three months, I signed the year lease.
Life is full of roadblocks. If at first you get a no, try again. Be patient, with yourself and with others. Sometimes it isn’t a closed door, but a jammed door waiting to be kicked open.
And now, to the main topic of this blog post…
10 Ways to Decorate On Budget
Invest your money wisely and you can spend it however you want.
ONE. Coupons. If you haven’t downloaded the Hobby Lobby or Michaels app, download it now! I keep the Hobby Lobby app on my phone. Michaels recognizes their coupons, why have two apps when you can have one. Even if my purchase is $0.50, I use a coupon. Pennies add up to dollars.
TWO. Recycle jars. Jars of all shapes and sizes, can’t get enough! Save jars from groceries and use them for flower vases, to keep sea glass in, and for drinking iced hazelnut lattes!
THREE. Sea glass and shells. If you live near a beach, I guarantee you there is sea glass to be found! One piece here and there may not seem like much, but just like pennies, they add up! I have jars and jars from around the world. Don’t have access to a beach? Collect jars of flat stones, colorful rocks, pinecones, dried flowers. Nature has it all!
FOUR. Clearance plants. Lowes and Home Depot always have a clearance section for plants. I joke that my kitchen has more plants than dishes. I purchased a $3 plant with more dried up branches than green branches. But with love and patience, it has bloomed into my favorite plant in the house.
FIVE. Flowers! I’ll go without something else before cutting flowers out of the budget. And the best part, you only have to budget $5 – $10 during the winter months. The rest of the year, I keep scissors in the car to pick wildflowers on the side of the road. Ahh, running through a field wearing a dress, letting the wind blow through your hair, and picking wildflowers. So ready for summer!! Ok, sorry, getting distracted…
SIX. Magazine + newspaper clippings. They make great wall art. Often times a store will offer free magazines. Thrift stores sell old magazines for $0.10 – $1. Browse through and cut out the photos and words you like. Throw away the rest, you will never “need it someday” like your mind will trick you into thinking – think minimalistic.
SEVEN. Rugs. TJ Maxx / Homegoods sell pretty rugs for $15-$30 [and higher, I just prefer to stay below $30]. Colorful rugs make a lonely room feel like home!
EIGHT. Candles. Target clearance, Marshalls and the Dollar Tree. I save my favorite candles for when friends come over or when I’m having a blah day. But, just like flowers, I LOVE having candles in the house every day. The Dollar Tree has candles that crackle for $1. It’s the little things in life. :)
NINE. Recycled frames. Garage sales, thrift stores, or someone simply getting rid of an old photo they don’t want any more. Don’t like the photo or painting? Toss it and replace with your own photo. The frame is still good!
TEN. Baskets + Books. Thrift stores! One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Never devalue something because it has been used.
That’s the spot. Quite possibly my favorite place in the whole world. If I can’t be in Ireland, I might as well be sleeping below it.
If you’d like to read 10 Ways to Eat Healthy With a Low Budget, comment below and let me know!
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Virginia beach has turned into home for me, buuuuut,
Will I sign another year lease? You’ll have to wait and see…
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