The teacher gig gets better as the years go on. You get more comfortable in your role as "teacher". You learn more about the tricks of the trade. And you realize more and more every day that what you do matters. The kids from years past take time to let you know that you impacted them, and truly... it's a wonderfully rewarding way to make a living. Just the other day, I was at the doctors office, and as soon as I turned the corner, I child came running towards me and gave me the biggest heart-felt hug before I could even react. She was in my classes six years ago and she recognized me immediately. Makes my heart sing!
The restaurant gig has been wonderful for different reasons. It has made me some of the best friends a girl could ask for. It has supplied me with "fun money"(and single handedly paid for my wonderful car) for nine years. It has taught me that there are truly wonderful people all over your community (and some truly awful ones). It has made me a lot of friends, and brought me back in touch with people I never thought I would see again. I am always in a good mood once I get there, and I get to work with some wonderful people that I consider family at this point. Basically, this job has given me another branch on my tree of life. That I wouldn't change for the world.
That being said, I am happy to announce, that I have cut back a bit, and dropped down to one night a week at the restaurant. :)
It makes me smile to say it out loud. Not because I dislike that job, but truly, it's a job that is tough on you. It is hard on your body, and sometimes hard on your mind. I love that I am still able to work there once a week. To gather up the money I will use on going out or shopping that weekend. But it also feels good to know, that I will have some of my free time back. Friday nights have always been about seeing other people out, celebrating TGIF. While I get them what they need to enjoy themselves. Now it's my turn. And I couldn't be more thrilled about it.
Downfall: I now have more time AND less money.
Solution: New ways to get in that decompressing time. The reason I used to go shopping a lot, is because I
a.) Had the time
b.) Had the money.
Since the money is now less and the time is now more, I have decided to go a little wild and try new places to shop.
First up, garage sales. I had never really been a garage sale girl. Never got up early enough, or felt comfortable enough to go sifting through others belongings. Recently, I HAVE however taken to antiquing. The little fairs that they have in the summer time make my heart beat. I am always out looking for that treasure... the same feelings I can find at the Rack really, but on a different level. (Hoarder alert... I know... but I swear I am totally in control :) Old things can tell stories. The same reasons I love pictures and scrapbooks. I only went Garage Sale-ing once this summer... with two dear friends... and I can't believe I didn't do this sooner! We had an amazing time and found great things... check it out:
Desk and chair combo for $82... that chair weighs a ton! I love them together... it's just the space I needed.
These cute little vintage pilgrims that I bought from a sweet old lady for 75 cents.
Turns out they sell for $15 each on ebay and vintage etsy... nice deal there!
April and I each got a mirror... that was golden and pretty ugly... I am in the process of fixing mine up. Here is the back to see it's color, I forgot to take a "before photo"... and the green I changed it to. I still need to do the antiquing... you can see the starts of it at the very top. Then I have to track down the mirror part of this... I left it at April's house when we painted them last weekend. :)
Second up, Consignment clothes shopping. Did you know that I have gotten three pairs of designer jeans... ones that fit perfectly... for $32. AND Did you know that my favorite pair of "like" new Danskos were only $29. It's truly an amazing feat when I realize that I own very similar Danskos in a different color that I paid $100 MORE for and a similar pair of jeans (or two or three) that I also paid $100 more for. Makes me feel silly really. In fact, I have found that my consignment store finds have almost always become instant favorites. I find myself wearing them the most. I think it's because I TRULY loved them when I bought them... you have to in order to buy someone else's clothes I think. Anyways, I love telling others who compliment me on my finds, where they came from. They are almost always shocked. :)
Also, as a side note, I set my favorite searches on Ebay for little things I know I love... like shoes by Miz Mooz. They are perfect for people like me that require smaller heels or none at all... check out these guys I got in the mail just today... they cost me $27.22. Not too shabby for a $100+ pair of shoes. :)
Mirror... most expensive thing I have ever bought at Goodwill... $20. Looks great now... it was white-ish and dirty before.
Owls... used to be a variety of colors... previously painted to look like real-life owls... (not really) and I altered them to be decorations at my sister's baby shower... cute stuff.
Love this calendar... It is so totally one of my favorite decorations right now... and it was $1.99.
My scrapbooking supplies rack... I forget to use them if I can't see them... $9.99 find
And once again... my $4.99 dream...
... now with handles... that granted... cost me nearly 3 times as much... but I figured it deserved the splurge. :)
So, that's it for now. Saving money has never been so fun. The last two days has been spent tearing apart and reupholstering a glider for my sister to use with her new baby (that hasn't arrived yet, but we expect to meet any day now)... I truly can't believe that we were able to give new life to a several hundred dollar glider that we found for less than $20. Love that... love love that. :)