Ashland Goodwill

My older son and I just got back from his two day college orientation, which meant three days away from home since the orientation began at 10 A.M., inconveniently five-and-a-half hours away from home! (Didn’t exactly relish leaving home at 4 A.M. to get there on time.)

I bought a fat loaf of French bread the morning that we left, and assembled a big ol’ turkey sandwich, which I then cut into fourths. I threw some 6/$1 Grocery Outlet yogurts into a cooler, as well as a bag of mini carrots, I then tossed together some rotini and kale pesto. I filled reusable water bottles and poured a cup of coffee into my thrifted ceramic travel mug. Reusable stainless steel spoons and forks also made their way into the cooler.

Thus fortified, we were able to get from point A to point B without buying any food or drinks. We refilled the water bottles at rest stop water fountains.

My son’s dorm room accommodation was included in the free orientation, (Ha, not really free at all!) but I needed to book a motel room. Southern Oregon University is located in the beautiful town of Ashland, home to the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which is great, but the downside is that finding a cheap place to stay is never going to happen. I pored through Airbnb and HomeAway listings, but they were more expensive than a cheapo motel. I ended up staying at the locally owned Timbers Motel, which looked decent, was relatively inexpensive and was literally across the street from the school.  I clicked through eBates and Priceline to get cash back and a better deal, which brought the price down to $191 for two nights minus whatever I get back from eBates. It included a continental breakfast, which was a plus. It wasn’t amazing, but it did the trick. And the room? Pretty much perfect.

After dropping our stuff in the room, we went into town for pizza slices. Ashland is full of pricey dining options, but we’d discovered Martolli’s pizza last year and made a beeline for it. Fifteen dollars stuffed the two of us, which included the tip. This ended up being the only money we spent on food.

travel mug

Luckily, the orientation included a dining hall swipe card for both of us. This included a breakfast, lunch and dinner! Plus, there was free coffee, tea, soda and ice water available throughout. I brought my ceramic travel mug to every event and was able to avoid single use cups. There was a tea which included cookies and cut up fruit, and I chose to eat the fruit on a paper plate with my fingers rather than take a plastic fork. Yeah, I got a little sticky, but all that free coffee made me very familiar with bathroom locations, so there was frequent hand washing. We could have easily spent money on food between meals, but we didn’t.

The University bookstore is run by Barnes and Noble, and includes a large section for logo gear. But I knew there was a Goodwill in town, which would be my first choice. I follow The Compact and choose to only buy used, which I rarely stray from. Not surprisingly, Goodwill had a myriad of choices, and my son picked out two $2.99 SOU T-shirts. (The T-shirts were categorized by color, which I’m usually not a fan of, but helped in this case.) He allowed to me snap one quick photo of him in front of the shop, even though the sun was directly in his eyes.

We needed to leave the motel yesterday morning, as we’d be at orientation until after the 11 A.M. check out time. But I chatted with the manager, who let me store the last half of our turkey sandwich in their refrigerator. (Didn’t relish leaving the sandwiches in a hot car all day, even in a cooler.) I also talked to him about how I’d reserved through Priceline, but would rather book directly for future trips as they’re a small business. He told me to call the motel after checking Priceline, and that they’d match the price. Cool. Money for a small business owner instead of William Shatner. (Priceline spokesman.)

The trip home saw us eating the last of the sandwich, plus finishing the carrots. We refreshed our water bottles at an Arby’s connected to a gas station. We may have bought two Payday candy bars, as they were buy-one-get-one-for-a-dime at the gas station.

We were hungry by the time we hit home, but I threw together a quicky dinner of macaroni-and-cheese with kale pesto, as well as some pierogi’s from the freezer, which also got the kale pesto treatment. Mmm . . . kale pesto . . . .

In all we spent:

  • $191 for the motel.
  • $12.50 for pizza.
  • $5.98 for two T-shirts
  • $9.50 for tips, (pizza, school barista and the motel housekeeper.)
  • Around $25 for gasoline. Thank you, Prius and your 50 MPG abilities!
  • $1.48 for two candy bars.

Traveling can be both expensive and wasteful, but with a bit of forethought that doesn’t have to be the case. Being thoughtful and deliberate can save a huge amount of money, plus keep waste to a minimum. College is a huge money suck, but I refuse to wholly give in.

P.S. This trip saw me pick up a dime, a nickel and three pennies from the ground.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Today I Am . . .

by Katy on August 12, 2015 · 38 comments

Pizza!

Today I Am . . . (Okay, it’s really was not is, since I’m writing a nighttime blog post.)

  • Driving down to Ashland, Oregon for my son’s college orientation. School doesn’t start until next month, but this two day event will help for him to figure out college life and meet a few people.
  • Eating food at rest stops that I packed from home for the 5-1/2 hour drive down from Portland. Of course we drank water from reusable bottles.
  • Listening to a library audiobook in the car of Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire.
  • Getting almost 50 miles-per-gallon in my Toyota Prius.
  • Enjoying delicious yet frugal pizza slices as a reward for packing our own food. (Note the ice water.)
  • Wishing Ashland was a cheaper town to book a motel room. ($191 for the two nights, even with Priceline!)
  • Happy that our motel has a continental breakfast, although I think it’s a super minimal one.
  • Happy that our motel is close enough to campus to walk everywhere.
  • Thinking about the hawk my son and I spied that was flying above the freeway and carrying a huge rat.
  • Relaxing in our motel room and thinking I’d better look over where it is we need to be tomorrow morning.

Now your turn what did you do today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 11, 2015 · 92 comments

Free rocking chair

  1. My son had his weekly 7 A.M. work meeting this morning. Instead of driving home during the 2 hour span, (it’s twenty minutes each way) I brought a stack of magazines that had been accumulating in my living room. I was able to skim through them enough, so I’ll feel no guilt when I drop them at a Little Free Library later on today.
  2. I subscribe to four magazines, (Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Simple Living and Sports Illustrated) all of which I get for free either from doing online surveys or by cashing in random frequent flyer miles. I’ll never accumulate enough miles to earn a airline ticket, so I might as well get something from them. However, lately I’ve noticed myself having zero interest in reading the magazines, so I won’t be resubscribing, free or otherwise.
  3. I gave away a few things. (Sometimes frugality means making inexpensive or free things available for others.) I contacted the person who’d bought our unused Sonicare toothbrush heads to see if she’d like the chargers. (She would.) I gave a jar of Borax to someone in a local buying-nothing-group who was having an ant problem, and I put a fixer-upper antique rocking chair out for free, as I’d had it for three months or so without working on it. It was gone within a half-hour, and I’m happy to be free from the guilt of yet another unfinished project. I’m also donating a bin of stuff to Goodwill today.
  4. My older son and I are driving five hours tomorrow for a two-day university orientation. He’ll bunk for free in the dorm while I’ll stay a hotel. (I used eBates and Priceline to book the room.) We’ll bring our own food, and just grab pizza slices and go to the grocery store. He needs to bring a graphing calculator to take a math placement test, which I’m borrowing from a friend. Hopefully I can drive my Prius to minimize gas usage, but it’s in the shop today for a new water pump. (It’s a repair we knew about when we bought the car.)
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on August 10, 2015 · 19 comments

It’s time for another Non-Consumer Advocate Mish-Mash post, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Outgo exceeds your intake

When Your Outgo Exceeds Your Income

I was listening to a Clark Howard podcast a few weeks ago, when a caller quoted her grandfather who was known for saying that “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” Of course I stopped in my tracks and quickly wrote it down!

Because that is freaking genius!

I immediately turned it into a graphic and shared it on The Non-Consumer Advocate’s Facebook group.

It might have to replace “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

 

The Best Laid Plans Lead to Expensive Restaurants

Saturday was our 22nd anniversary, so my husband and I planned a day trip to the Oregon coast for the four of us. I packed a cooler with crackers, brie, Laughing Cow cheese, homemade cookies and cut up cantaloupe. We also brought a large thermos of coffee, as well as water.

Knowing that the beach can spell iffy weather, we brought coats as if were March instead of August. It wasn’t enough. The weather was windy and cool when we ventured onto the beach, but it wasn’t until we’d walked a fair distance from the car that the driving rain began. We all ended up completely soaked and frankly, on the unpleasant side of cranky.

Because walking against a strong headwind while being sandblasted is never anything close to enjoyable.

We’d already eaten our food in the car before hitting the beach, (which in retrospect wasted twenty minutes of decent weather) and had nowhere to go that wouldn’t waste money.

We ended up driving back home and stopping at Camp 18 to try and salvage the day. The bill for our early supper came to $48, which kind of killed the whole frugal adventure thing. And although the weather had cleared up, we did not head back to the beach.

Good thing our other frugal endeavors balance out days like this.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Show Me Your Clothesline Selfies!

by Katy on August 7, 2015 · 24 comments

Like Kim Kardashian, I enjoy a good selfie. You know . . . full makeup, arm raised high, lips formed into a duck face and my arms squeezed together for optimum cleavage. No, wait a minute . . . that’s not it at all! I like a good clothesline selfie, which is an entirely different beast!

Just me standing in front of my family’s laundry, which hangs from my humble yet functional clothesline. Allowing evaporation to take the place of a energy draining appliance.

I like to think of it as elevating the mundane into something fun, something to feel proud of!

Let me show you a few of my Instagram #ClotheslineSelfies. Here I am in front of some towels! Yes, they get stiff, but I like to think of it as a big loofa. A fancy spa treatment.

Clothesline selfie 1

Please enjoy the underwear hanging on the line. No shame in it. We all wear underwear, well . . . except for Lenny Kravitz. But my thrifted leather pants may split at any moment, so I try to remember my underwear.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.20.54 PM

I set up my Ikea drying rack for cloth napkins here, which I say calls for a Barbara Walters-esque filter.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.21.07 PM

My clothesline is no stranger to soccer jerseys, even those of entire teams!

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.21.19 PM

I wash our duvet cover pretty frequently, as it’s the favorite shedding spot for our two black cats.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.22.01 PM

Here’s a free duvet cover which I snagged (and then sold) from a garage sale leftovers pile.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.23.03 PM

I absolutely adore the smell and crispness of clothesline dried sheets. The laundry industry has tried to duplicate the scent in their laboratories, but you and I both know that they’ll never succeed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.23.24 PM

You may notice that my towels are all the same color. Yup, we only own six good towels, which should last forever as long as I dry them in the sun.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.24.00 PM

We don’t own a lot of sheets either.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 8.24.34 PM

I’m not sure how I got my son to agree to pose clipped to the clothesline. But I’m really happy that I had the sense to photograph this moment in time.

Clothesline son

Here’s what I want from you. I want your clothesline selfies for a future blog post. You can either e-mail them to me at nonconsumer@comcast.net or tag me on Instagram as @nonconsumer. Or you could even share them on The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group. However you do it, I want to see your clothesline selfies!

Cleavage optional.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 6, 2015 · 35 comments

Bike

  1. I had a $6.99 Goodwill store credit expiring today, so I swung by one of my favorite locations after dropping my son at work. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, although I always keep an eye out for things I can resell. I’m also needing to pick up a few particular items for my son who’s off to college next month, so I snatched up a 50¢ plastic tote perfect for his dorm room toiletries. But my real score was a $210 bicycle priced at $7.99. I’ve already posted the bike on Craigslist and will use the proceeds towards our looming college tuition payment.
  2. I passed by my favorite antique mall after dropping my son at work. However, since I’m spending zero unnecessary dollars this year, I shopped from the dumpsters behind the building. My efforts were not wasted as one of the vendors had placed a vintage American Tourister train case next to the trash. I brought it home and have it listed it on Craigslist. Very cute.
  3. My next-door-neighbor is taking me out to lunch tomorrow as a thank you for taking care of her garden and cats while she was out of town.
  4. The Paypal payment for my $25 Swagbucks gift card came through, as did an eBates $25 reward. I almost never shop online, but I do use eBates when booking hotel rooms and plane tickets. Again . . . college fund. (Will it ever end? What, no? Crap.)
  5. I walked to the grocery store and fought the impulse to only bought what was on my list, (fish, tea, milk) I was given six cups of grapefruit segments left behind by a guest cottage tenant, I brought my own lunch to work, I listened to free podcasts on my iPhone4 and my sons and I watched the documentary The True Cost on Netflix, all about the environmental and societal effects of the inflated fashion industry. A must see for any non-consumer who wants to be deliberate about their purchases.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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50 Ways to Save Money. Now!

by Katy on August 5, 2015 · 41 comments

The follow is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

  1. Treat every purchase like it’s a major purchase. You have a few opportunities in life to save a lot of money, but it’s the small daily ones that will make or break you.
  2. Vacation close to home so you can drive instead of fly.
  3. Delay big purchases as long as possible. You may lose interest or find an alternate solution.
  4. Hang dry your laundry, indoors if necessary.
  5. Choose a hairstyle that does not require frequent trims.
  6. Repair instead of replace. This goes for appliances, furniture, clothing, whatever.
  7. Borrow infrequently used tools and supplies instead of buying. (Also make sure to lend.)
  8. Bank at a credit union instead of a corporate bank. You’ll most likely save on fees.
  9. Wear the clothes you already own instead of buying new stuff all the time.
  10. Cook from scratch and save restaurant meals for special occasions.
  11. Make sure you have a few easy meals on hand for those nights when takeout dinner is calling your name. There’s nothing wrong with serving scrambled eggs and toast for dinner.
  12. Use your library for books, magazines, movies and CD’s. And then make sure to return them on time!
  13. Foster your relationships with like minded friends. They won’t make you feel bad about sticking to a budget.
  14. Pack your own work and school lunches.
  15. Replace expensive recipe ingredients with inexpensive options. Perfect example? Kale instead of basil in pesto.
  16. Don’t be a snob about older electronics. You will survive without the newest iPhone.
  17. Learn how to mend and de-stain your clothing. If half your wardrobe is out of commission, you’re missing out.
  18. Batch your errands whenever you drive.
  19. Drink water or homemade iced tea instead of soda.
  20. Choose social get togethers that do not include shopping.
  21. Cancel memberships that you do not use. Gyms, premium cable channels, and everything else.
  22. Pay attention to your household’s food waste. Eat what you have, and stop buying the food that you tend to waste.
  23. Be willing to own less stuff. There’s less to buy, organize, clean and look at.
  24. Wait until movies hit the second run theaters.
  25. Decline your friends’ shopping parties. You don’t need any more Tupperware, baskets, jewelry or candles.
  26. Take advantage of your town’s free offerings. Parks, hikes, concerts, plays, it’s all there!
  27. Don’t assume that all coupons are for junk food. There are tons of great coupons for pasta, organic food and healthy products. Keep an open mind.
  28. Minimize the disposable supplies that you buy. Rags made from old T-shirts can replace paper towels, and handkerchiefs can replace Kleenex.
  29. Embrace simple entertaining. Chances are that neither Martha Stewart nor the Queen of England will attend your party.
  30. Automate as many of your bills as possible. Not only will you save on stamps, but you’ll never pay a late fee again.
  31. Learn to use a paintbrush. Outdated furniture and kitchen cabinets can gain a modern vibe for thousands less than buying new. And chances are that your old stuff is better constructed than new stuff anyway.
  32. Call your cable company, credit cards and phone company to negotiate a better deal. They want to keep you as a customer and will usually sweeten your deal.
  33. Say no to expensive children’s birthday parties. Just because your neighbor spent $500 on her kid doesn’t mean you have to.
  34. Rethink your expensive hobbies.
  35. Let your kids entertain themselves. It fosters their creativity.
  36. Store your leftovers in see-through containers. You’ll be less likely to forget about what lurks in your fridge.
  37. Don’t feel bad about accepting other people’s generosity. You can reciprocate in your own way.
  38. Don’t be fooled into thinking that expensive shampoos, cosmetics and body products are better than the cheap-o stuff.
  39. Turn down your hot water heater, furnace and air conditioner. You will adjust.
  40. Only stock up on cheap deals if it’s something that you use frequently.
  41. Embrace second hand items. Thrift stores are your best friend.
  42. Learn to say no to your kids.
  43. Don’t hire out what you can do for yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house and cook your own food.
  44. Adopt a mixed-breed pet instead of buying a purebred animal. Or if your have to have a pure breed, look into a rescue organization that specializes in that dog.
  45. Say no to single use unitaskers. One good knife can fill the role of half of what’s sold in a kitchen supply store.
  46. Allow for imperfection in your life. Your house is not a magazine and your kitchen is not a restaurant.
  47. Replace your monthly tampons with a menstrual cup. This tip alone will save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
  48. Buy (or make) your birthday and holiday gifts ahead of time. And then allow yourself to spend less.
  49. Ignore The Joneses. Chances are that they’re deeply in debt from all their conspicuous consumption.
  50. Read frugality blogs like The Non-Consumer Advocate for ideas and inspiration!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 41 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 3, 2015 · 37 comments

cheap pasta

  1. I prepared a noodle stir fry last night that included two boxes of 33¢ angel hair pasta from The Grocery Outlet and a large amount of 99¢/lb broccoli. It was pretty tasty and my husband chose to bring leftovers for his work lunch today instead of a sandwich, which was a once-a-decade occurrence.
  2. I sold some cool printed vintage glass jars through Craigslist that I’d pulled from a free pile. #collegefund
  3. My younger son consolidated his books from two shelves down to one in order to have room to display his sneaker collection. I took the discards to Powell’s bookstore and my son now has $42 in store credit that he can use when there’s a book he’s wanting to buy. I donated the rest to Goodwill and wrote a detailed list of hardbacks vs. paperbacks for when tax time rolls around.
  4. I’m taking care of my neighbor’s cats and garden while they’re out of town. Today was our every-other-week garbage pickup, so I set out their bin and noticed that it was half empty. I went ahead and topped it up with some trash we’d accumulated from cleaning out an area of our basement. We share a garbage pickup with our other neighbors, which means there’s rarely room for extra garbage. (Trash happy!) Also, I needed to fax financial papers to my sons’ university, so I texted my out of town neighbor who told me it was fine to use their fax machine. Saved me both money and an errand!
  5. I finished reading my son’s library copy of The Fault in Our Stars, my older son and I watched a DVD of The Giver thanks to a free Redbox promo code, (just text MOVIENIGHT to 727272) my clothesline has been in almost constant use, my husband sold some tickets to an upcoming Portland Thorns soccer game, both of my sons have been putting in many hours at their jobs and my husband was awarded a promotion at work.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Hustling to Make Extra Money

by Katy on August 2, 2015 · 44 comments

Broken Fiestaware

As much as I put my efforts into saving money, I put an equal effort into bringing in lots of income. Because unless you’re a professional couch surfer and food forager, you can’t have one without the other. I call it my “my hustle,” and baby, I am always hustling!

I’ve written about my money making hacks over the years and always get readers wondering why I don’t simply work more hours in my day job as a labor and delivery nurse. It’s a good question, and I can see why people ask it. The answer is that with my family, life gets too complicated when my husband and I both work the same days. We work 12-hour shifts which keep us away from the house for around 14 hours, and there is simply always something at home that needs adult attention. We’ll be empty nesters sooner than we care to admit, so why not spend time with our sons now while they’re still at arm’s reach? Sniff . . .

My people matter more to me than my money.

Having said that, money does matter. Not just money for life’s daily expenditures, but money set aside for retirement and for our sons to graduate college without soul crushing student loan debt. (Both my teenage sons hold jobs, but it isn’t enough to pay for college.)

It’s a delicate balance. Work enough to save and stay out of debt, yet also spend the apparently massive amounts of time I like to hang out with my kids.

So I hustle.

Here’s how my hustle breaks down:

  • I work as a hospital based labor and delivery nurse. However, it’s an on-call position, which means that I pick and choose my schedule, although I’m required to work a certain number of hours per month. Sometimes I work two days per week, sometimes less. (I used to have a regular part-time staff position, but my husband’s work week is based on an eight-day week, which was impossible to schedule around.)
  • I help my mother run her VRBO guest cottage business. This mostly means that I help to clean and maintain the two houses between tenants, which runs from twice a week or once a month. I’m very good at it, and always make jokes about how “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” as I certainly do not keep my house at the 100% immaculate standard that we keep for the guest cottages. This is work I can do despite running the kids across town or managing my own household. My mother pays me enough to make it worth my time. Plus she often takes me to lunch. Thanks, mom!
  • I sell stuff on Craigslist. This runs the gamut from soccer tickets, to unwanted personal possessions to things fellow Portlanders put out for free. I almost always have at least three listings going at a time, and I start to scour the house when my inventory gets low. Over the past week I’ve sold a vintage plant stand I found next to a dumpster, ($20) half of a Subaru trailer hitch that went with our sadly totaled Outback, ($10) and an antique claw foot bathtub that’s been sitting in our basement for ten years. ($625) Just yesterday a free pile gifted me a vintage hand painted floor cloth and a wonderful small desk/dresser combo. The former is already on Craigslist, and I’ll put together an ad for the latter as soon as I’m done writing this blog post.
  • I sell stuff on eBay. This is not as frequent as it used to be, but certain items do better on eBay than on Craigslist. (Larger customer base.) I have a listing ready to start tonight that is nothing more than a lot of broken vintage Fiestaware. I’d thought I would use it for a mosaic kitchen backsplash, but it’s been sitting in my basement for almost twenty years, so I’ll let some other crafty type take over the project.
  • I find money on the ground. Okay, this hustle may seem a bit of a stretch, but it seriously adds up. Last year I found over $35 on the ground, and I’m on track for a much higher amount this year as I’ve already found $27 in paper money alone!
  • I use Swagbucks to order up $25 PayPal gift cards. I know a lot of people use Swagbucks to earn gift cards for Amazon or Starbucks, but since the bucks can be used to earn straight-up cash, that’s my first choice. You know . . . money! My goal is to earn one per month. ($25 X 12 = $300.)
  • I blog. I know this one may seem obvious, but it’s something that I’ve done almost every single day since May 20, 2008. (A loooong time in the blogging world.) I turn down probably 99% of money making opportunities related to the blog, as it would hypocritical to write about not buying useless crap while simultaneously writing sponsored posts, although I do have a few advertisers to keep the lights on. The blog earns around $10 per day, which adds up. But I don’t do it for the money, I do it because it’s extremely satisfying and fulfilling. I feel like it’s helped to create an amazing community, and it may sound hokey, but I get more from blogging than my readers do. I love my readers! You should see what kind of amazing stuff that goes down over at The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group!

Together it adds up. We have enough money for everything we need and although we don’t have fully funded college accounts, we’re going to muddle through. I’ll work more once both kids are in college, but I’ll continue my hustle either way. Cause baby . . . my hustle is a thing of beauty.

Do you hustle to piece together a patchwork income? Please share your stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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More Creative Lettering

Update: This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Lorraine!

I have a special treat for you today, which is an opportunity to win your very own copy of More Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips From Top Artists from Lark Crafts.

I consider myself to be a creative person when it comes to figuring out alternate solutions to life’s many problems, but my creativity does not follow me into the visual medium. I simply cannot draw, and no one in their right mind would ever ask me to letter anything. And what was decently okay handwriting a few years ago has devolved into chicken scratch, barely legible to me, let alone anyone else.

So when Lark reached out to me about reviewing this book and doing a blog giveaway, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Yes, please! Especially since Lark books are always deliciously gorgeous. (Whoever is in charge of book design over there deserves a raise!)

Here is an example of my very best cursive, which has not changed since Mrs. Criqui’s third grade classroom.

Luckily, this great book has many easy to follow examples of super cute handwriting that I’m excited to try out on my own. Yay!

To enter to win a copy of this book, please write your name in the comments section below. I will randomly choose one winner on Monday, August 3rd at 9 P.M. PST. U.S. and Canada residents only. One entry only.

Good luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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