Making Moves…Literally

Elleword - just lounging around the house in gifted jeans, thrifted top and my husband's sweater. Like the afro?

Lately I’ve been making moves.

I’ve been focusing more on relationship building and collaborating with other vendors on projects while I build my company resources and systems. Business hasn’t skyrocketed but I’m starting to notice more inquiries and opportunities start coming down the pipe. I’ve got a bunch of things to type up, design and prepare (plus it’s really boring work!) but once they are done, it’s just about repeating the process with each client. Till then I need some personal projects or hobbies to keep me inspired.

Elleword - A prom photo I took of a beautiful high school girl at the Westin Hotel Downtown Dallas location
These are images I took during a prom event that I was asked to co-sponsor. I’m in love with her whole look, I was NOT this stylish in high school!

So I’m getting back to vlogging, blogging and focusing on my photo skills via a 365 project. I haven’t chosen a start day or a subject, though I’m considering photographing myself each day. I just want to do something fun and creative for the sake of creating ya know? Speaking of that, I’m currently converting a long skirt into a swim suit. I have one but it’s magenta and kinda boring lol. I’ve been wanting to pull out my sewing machine for so long and make or tailor something from the thrift store. I’m so excited!! Once I get my sewing skills back into shape, I want to try my hand at tailoring some pants and a skirt from three name brand thrift store suits. When I start those, I’ll make a separate post and video.

Elleword - just lounging around the house in gifted jeans, thrifted top and my husband's sweater. Like the afro?
I’ve been seriously slacking on my style goals, wearing yoga pants and tees most days but that ends now!!! I’m going to put on real clothes every day from here on out.

Aside from that, we moved into another apartment this past Friday. It’s a long story but I’ll try to sum it up for ya!

When we first moved to DFW (5 years ago), we lived in a quaint apartment complex within walking distance of a bunch of places. We loved it so we stayed there almost 4 years before moving up the street. We loved the new place but it didn’t quite feel like home so after our lease was up we went back to the old place.

BIG MISTAKE!

Our experience this time around sucked! We had bug problem after bug problem. Issues with the heat not turning off. The AC blowing out air that smelled like a sewer and water leaking into our living room. We couldn’t take it any longer so last week, after only 6 months of being back, we packed up our stuff and came back to the new place. After that experience, the new place definitely feels like home! Our internet was installed last night so hopefully I’ll keep up with writing on here. Even if no one reads it, I like looking back at my days and seeing all the things I’ve done over the years. Otherwise I’ll forget!

That’s all I have for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Have courage, Elle

The Last Six Days


The last six days have been a roller coaster of events and emotions.

On Saturday, my husband and I moved from our fourth story studio to a cozy bungalow up the street. While we were really happy about the new space, we ran into a few issues up front. The place hadn’t been cleaned, there were dead bugs in the closet and an unidentified splatter of some brown liquid in the kitchen. I was able to help get everything inside of our place before running off to shoot a wedding. I was exhausted leaving the reception at 11:30 and had to call Brandon up so he could keep me company on the way home; and keep me awake.

The next day we went to church and celebrated our 6th anniversary with my twin sister and her husband at Red Lobster. This was really special for us because Red Lobster is where we had our rehearsal dinner two days before our wedding day. We came home to discover that our box of books had been chewed open and our books were spread across the floor. I vowed to get a kennel ASAP! That evening, surrounded by boxes and slightly peeved at the dirtiness of our place, Brandon and I cuddled up on the couch as he munched on Tortilla chips before going to bed.

On Monday morning, I heard Brandon exclaim “Ants!” in the other room. Apparently at some point in the early morning hours, the ants came marching two by two through a small opening at the base of our living room wall to feast on the bag of Tortilla chips Brandon had munched on the night before. Brandon called in PTO day for work as we scrambled to move our things out of the critter’s path and resolved to move out if the front office didn’t agree to do something about our place. It was bad enough that it was dirty but this was too much to take. Thankfully, the manager was very compassionate and helpful.

She sent in the property managers to clean and reseal the windowsills and clean up the sloppy job that had been done to the flooring in the bathroom. A few hours later, pest control came in and sprayed down our carpet and couch. I pulled back the edge of the carpet while he sprayed the base of the wall down. We could see the opening where the ants were coming in and I made a mental note to seal it up with hot glue later. We then spent the night at our sisters’ house chatting while I uploaded two weddings to my contractors.

The next day, Brandon and I returned home and found an ant free bungalow waiting for us. Brandon went to work and I headed off to shoot a mid week wedding an hour away. The bride and groom were so kind and you could see how much they loved each other. The food was amazing and the bride invited me to dance with her and her family so I danced and sang along to ‘Living on a Prayer’ and taught them how to do ‘the wobble’ dance. At the end of the night, her mother blessed me with a $100 tip and thanked me for my help. It really was my pleasure. The next morning, my friend Isidora drove me to the oral surgeon to get a tooth extracted and prepped for a dental implant. The procedure was fast and I was asleep the whole time.

When I woke up, my friend Isi took me to pick up the three medications and medicated mouth rinse from CVS before dropping me off at home. I ate soup and a smoothie before resting a few more hours. We still hadn’t really unpacked but I felt so comfortable and at home. This place feels so much more homey than our other place! Speaking of, Brandon and I went back there to clean things up but he forgot to grab the broom so we’ll have to finish up tonight once I come back from covering an elopement in Fort Worth.

That’s my update, in case you were wondering where I’ve been! Thanks for checking in with me. If you like my blog, please subscribe. I’ll be rebooting the OOTD posts once we are settled in.

Have courage,
Elle

P.S. We borrowed a kennel from my sis and Justice (woof) is slowly adjusting to life behind bars when we are gone, lol. Our belongings are once again safe from his reign of terror!

More Calamity, More Positivity


If you’ve followed my blog or Facebook page recently, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t updated my 365 project or new summer capsule combos in quite some time. I’ve got a really good reason for this, I promise!

Aside from having car issues, my husband and I also ran into apartment issues at the same time. I don’t want to gross anybody out, but after we moved on the 1st, we had to move again a week later because of a bug and ventilation issue. We literally had to move twice in the last two weeks, while attempting to finish clearing out our original apartment without the use of our car. Oh yea, did I mention that my in-laws came to visit and we had to shoot a wedding during all of this? It was pretty stressful at times. We had to rent cars, walk and take the bus to pull it off (which wasn’t so bad). The bad part was spending so much money on all of these unexpected events. So while all of this was going on, I totally forgot about all of my special projects. But things are finally starting to calm down. My in-laws had a great time on their visit, we’ve got our car back, we are in our new place and I’ve started to edit the wedding images. Yes, we basically spent all of our cash on getting through these ordeals but the positive point is that we had the money to cover it without neglecting any of our other bills! Praise the Lord!

Once the internet gets hooked up at home, I hope that I will be able to do a better job of updating my blog and learning some new design techniques. My goal is to stay busy with creative projects and learning entrepreneur tax practices. In a few years, we will be debt free and by that time, I want to have established a full plan for going solo in the creative industry. Of course, I plan to stack up as much cash as possible beforehand for marketing, savings, home improvement and other things on my list. I can’t tell you how exciting this is. I feel like my dream is about to come true!

Thanks for reading,
Elle

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

Summer Combo #6


6My Monday was pretty busy. Transitioning into a new position at work mixed with packing up our house demands flexibility. Today I settled on this pink collared shirt and jeans combo with sporty shoes for variety. I didn’t feel like fussing with my hair so I pulled out a colorful scarf and kept things moving. –Elle

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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