Sometimes I Forget my Compassion: Working on being an Encouraging Wife


My husband and I have been married for almost four years now. Lately, when things haven’t gone the way I had hoped, I’ve been getting frustrated and saying how I feel. I am very good about being direct, about staying focused and taking care of business. I’m not so good at looking at things from other’s people’s perspectives or filling up love banks when things aren’t on track. Brandon pointed this out to me the other day as I was questioning him about something that happened between us. He felt like I was blaming him, like he was failing and should just apologize over and over.

Before he said that, I didn’t know how he felt, and I hadn’t asked. Continue reading “Sometimes I Forget my Compassion: Working on being an Encouraging Wife”

Fasting and Furniture


Whenever a new year starts, Brandon (the hubster) and I tend to participate in a spiritual activity to help us reboot and re-focus. This year, it’s the 21 day Daniel fast. Aside from avoiding certain foods, we are writing in journals daily, praying and getting in some personal worship time with God. This is day two and I am feeling very positive about it so far. At first, avoiding sugar, fried food, meat and dairy seemed difficult but we’ve found some good solutions. I didn’t realize how many products contained added sugars, bleached wheat or chemicals (like tortillas, salad dressing and even some canned fruits). It’s no wonder people have so many health issues these days. There are so many junk foods out there disguised as healthy choices that it’s ridiculous. Continue reading “Fasting and Furniture”

Merry Christmas Darling


This year, we weren’t able to go home and visit family. We’d already traveled twice last month for Thanksgiving and seeing our nephew before he shipped off for Navy training. So Brandon and I linked up with my twin sis Gernae (Nae) and her husband (Danio) to celebrate Christmas together. We packed up a few things on Christmas Eve, grabbed Justice (woof) and jumped in the back seat of my sister’s car. She had just finished her shift at work and was excited to get the festivities started.

We spent the night making chili, singing, talking and eating. We also watched a Christmas movie. The next day, we called up our families and sang carols to them over the phone. As the sun set, we took pictures together on the balcony. Nae an I exchanged gifts in the car. Later, we cruised through the neighborhoods, looking at Christmas lights and sipping hot chocolate until Nae fell asleep in the front seat. We didn’t do anything extravagant or spend a lot of cash, but that time I spent with them all was magical. It was our first Christmas together in Texas. I got a little teary eyed when I realized that this was also the first time my sister and I had spent Christmas together in a two years; I missed her.

New Year’s is coming up. I’m not sure what we will be doing, but I hope we’ll be able to spend it together. The four of us and our two furry kids. Meanwhile, I decided to share a few of the pics we took together at the bottom of this post.

Have courage,
Elle

cmas4 cmas9cmas5 cmas6 cmas8

Surprise Staycation Weekend


There are moments when you’re reminded of how wonderful someone is.

My husband received his yearly bonus at work and had planned on buying a Surface Pro but after a few things came up, we weren’t going to be able to purchase it along with the accessories that he wanted. He decided to try again some other time and use the money for other things. Two weeks ago, he told me not to make any plans for the weekend of the 14th because he had a surprise for me. I also had to avoid checking the bank account or else it would be spoiled. I had no idea how to prepare or what to expect so I just waited excitedly, not sure if he was taking me on a date or perhaps giving me some sort of gift. Continue reading “Surprise Staycation Weekend”

Positive Perspective and Preparation


Good morning guys,

I had to take a short hiatus from posting wardrobe capsule entries because of all of the work that goes into moving. We are almost done getting everything organized and put away. It will probably take a few more days to get situated so sorry for the delay in advance, lol. Ok, now on to today’s subject. We ran into some unexpected problems during our move, but thanks to preparation and positivity, we were able to get through it without the day being ruined. I wanted to share the experience with you guys while counting our blessings (labeled as B#) and optimistic moments (listed as O#).

Yesterday our car had to be towed to the mechanic after suddenly shutting down on us the night before. We’d already spent almost $800 on getting some repairs recently so, needless to say, this was not the best news ever. Thankfully, because we’ve been paying extra on our bills lately, we were able to use those funds, plus the cash we put away monthly for car maintenance/replacement to cover the repairs the first go round (B1). The tow guy’s customer service skills over the phone sucked, but our mechanic covered the fee so Brandon ignored his attitude and kept going (B2, O1). We scheduled movers to come by and transport all of our heavy containers and bedroom furniture into our new place but without our car, we weren’t going to be able to get the rest of our things out. This kind of got us down but Brandon and I were so excited about moving that we were able to stay positive (O2). Before the movers came, we placed everything we could into the living room and tucked Justice into the nearest empty bedroom with the door closed so he wouldn’t be stressed or confused by the sight of strangers taking things from our apartment. last year, he was so alarmed that he began barking and howling as to say ‘what’s going on here?!’.

When the movers arrived, they’d mistakenly listed both our new and old apartments as ground level dwellings, only to realize they’d have to take several heavy items down the stairs. One of the movers seemed a bit irritable but the other two were pleasant so we fed off of their energy (O3). My husband and I grabbed what we could and carried our belongings to the moving truck alongside the movers. It was hot, as usual for Texas, and we probably went up and down the stairs 20 times by the end.  Once we were finished, we decided to give them a big tip from our ‘moving fund’ as our way of saying thanks (B3). This left us with $600 or so left in moving funds (B4). We wanted to use the cash to buy furniture for our home office but that idea went out the window when the mechanic called. I’m kinda paranoid when it comes to mechanics, because it seems like no matter where we’ve gone over the years, a new problem is discovered after taking our car in for repairs and this was no exception. As Brandon chatted with him on the phone, I could tell what he was hearing wasn’t good. We needed $700. . .

We didn’t have that much money available in the bank to cover the fee; we’d already spent our monthly car savings on the first round of repairs. If we were going to move the rest of our things and entertain family this weekend, we needed our car fixed asap! At this point, I wanted to freak out, fuss and maybe threaten the car guy in case he was trying to get over on us for good measure but I could hear something (maybe the holy spirit) tell me to stay calm. Then we realized that we could use the remaining ‘moving fund’ cash along with a little from savings to take care of the car (B5). Yes, this would mean not being able to furnish our place as soon as we’d hoped but we wouldn’t have to worry about being short on any bills this month (B6, O4)! Today, I took the bus to work and Brandon carpooled with a co-worker, so neither of us had to take time off (B7) and by the time we get home, our car will be waiting for us in the parking lot (B8).

Prepare financially for days like this. It will save you from stress and conflict later.
For the last four months, we’ve applied the principles from Financial Peace University by saving as much as we can to move into a new apartment. To make sure we didn’t spend the money on something else, we took it out of the bank and placed the cash into an envelope. When the car broke down, we were able to use some of this money to cover repairs instead of having to stress over where the money would come from and potentially stir up trouble for other financial obligations. At the end of the day, we only needed to round up $40 from the bank.

Don’t let a bunch of minor inconveniences ruin your day.
This is something I’m learning to do as my life goes on. I used to complain and get upset quickly when things started to go awry. I’m not 100% cured of this habit but I’m getting better. Several things didn’t go as we’d hoped they would. Between car troubles, irritable service workers, the heat outside and suddenly having to spend $700, we easily could have gotten upset and deemed yesterday as a bad day. These are the kinds of things that can cause problems in a marriage! At the end of the day, we were able to move into our new apartment. Instead of stressing (and possibly fussing) over money, we spent quality time together putting things away and even had time for some romance before passing out for the night.

When less than positive things happen, you don’t have to fall into an emotional funk. Focus on what’s going right with your day and make the most of every moment. Life is too short to spend it in a bad mood. Be positive, stay happy as much as you can and drop any emotional baggage that can slow you down.

xoxo, Elle

DIT: Love Lottery


Do it together 🙂 Shout out to all the couples in love out there! If you enjoy going on spontaneous dates, try doing the love lotto. List 10 locations and 10 dollar amounts on slips of paper. These are your lotto tickets! Make sure the location and cash tickets are easy to identify. We used two types of patterned paper for ours. Fold them up and place them in a bowl or container.
Continue reading “DIT: Love Lottery”

Two Couples, One Apartment


Hey all!

Sorry that I haven’t written lately. I have been busy planning and working my business strategy while getting ready for another move. Brandon and I are moving next door into a two bedroom apartment in preparation of my twin and her husband’s arrival. While we have enjoyed meeting new people and the experience here, there is nothing like family. We’re very excited! Nae (Gernae), my sister, and I are already thinking of ways to deck out our new place together. She’s also going to join me in working out a strategy for Our House.

On a side note, you never know whose watching you. We have been contacted by a couple of people who were inspired by our move and want to do similar things for their lives. It’s like a ripple effect that I hope keeps going. I must say, our decision to move was a leap of faith. We didn’t have much money, know anyone in the area or solid job opportunities when we made up our minds to do this. But what we did have was faith; crazy, blind faith that God would show us what to do. I’m amazed every day when I wake up and remember where we are! So many things are working out in our favor, I know it was all inspired from HIM. Now I’ve go t to do my part to make sure the blessings don’t stop coming.

x o x o
The Artistic Chic