My Secrets to Looking Bangin’ on a Budget

When I was still fairly young, my parents paid for me to take a certification course for babysitters. Afterwards, they helped me to find some families who were in need of babysitters. Once I had some money set aside from babysitting, I started to be in charge of buying my own clothing.

I have a dress-code at the school I go to, as I always have in the past. So at the beginning of each school year my parents and I would go shopping for a few pairs of pants and a few shirts which they paid for. They always replaced these basics if something happened to them and they also paid for one good pair of running shoes for me and for any undergarments I needed.

However, any excess clothing that I wanted (or, more likely, thought I needed at the time) I was in charge of purchasing for myself with the money that I had earned. At this point, I will be living on my own soon and I have found that the lessons learned through earning money and purchasing any extras I wanted have helped me greatly. I am about to share with you some of the things that I have learned through my years of budget shopping.



This is an app that I have been using for YEARS. I have it on my iphone, and you can also look it up online. Through this app you can get coupons, promo codes, be notified of online sales, and that is just the beginning!!

Thrift Stores

thrift store

I absolutely love going thrift store shopping. Thrift stores are a great place to find lightly used clothing of any type, for a fraction of the cost. My absolute FAVORITE pair of jeans from Express are from Goodwill! They were already broken in just enough to be completely comfortable. I also love to go to thrift stores and purchase clothing to perform my own DIY projects on!

Google Search 

google search

Another simple ways to find coupons and discounts is to simply search for them online! Just search for the place you are shopping, and type “discount” or “promo code” at the end.

Do You Really Need It?

do you need it

One of my biggest tips is not to buy something simply because it is on sale. I am guilty of this as well, but I see a lot of people going online or walking into a store and seeing a sale. When they see this sale they immediately go to that section and rationalize that they “need” something, only to find that they never wear it when they get home! It simply hangs in their closets and gathers dust, all because it was on sale! When you are in the process of purchasing something, make sure you really need it or love it.

Take Care of Your Clothes!

price per wear

Think of the clothing you already have as money on a hanger. If something needs to be dry cleaned, DO NOT machine wash it! As for sweaters, wash them on a delicate cycle and then hang them to dry so that they do not shrink. Take care of the clothes in your possession, and they will last longer. Price per wear is everything.

I hope this little guide helped those of you who want or have to shop on a budget! I am thinking about doing a series of posts on thrift store DIY projects. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


A. Marie


5 Delightfully Simple DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day can be extremely stressful. This stress can be caused by not knowing what to gift your special someone, not knowing what to give a friend for “galentine’s day”, or even just from the person meant for your not being in your life quite yet. 

I have compiled a modest list of five Do-It-Yourself valentine’s gifts for anyone you are looking to give a gift to. These gifts are sweet, simple, and all but one use minimal supplies. Supplies that you probably already have in your house!

Read on for instructions on these five gifts.

1. An Adorable Card


This card is cute and affordable. I simply took a piece of paper and folded it in half. Next, I printed out a world map and cut it into the shape of a heart. Then I cut a strip off of another piece of paper and stamped the words, “You mean the world to me”, on it. On the inside you can write whatever message you want to the person you are giving the card to!

2. A Year of Date Nights

year of dates

This idea is a bit more complicated than the last. I took three sheets of pink paper (you can choose whichever paper you’d like), and cut them into quarters. This gave me twelve smaller pieces of paper, one for each month of the year. On these papers I wrote twelve ideas for date nights that I came up with. This can be the end of this project, or you can do as I’ve done and decorate them with washi tape, drawings, and stickers. Choose one date night for each month of the year to remind you to make time for that special someone!

3. 52 Reasons Why I Love You

52 reasons

For this gift, all you need is a deck of cards, paper, glue, and markers. First, I cut the paper into a size that would fit on the cards, then I glued it on. After that, all you have to do is write one reason why you love that special someone on each card! As you can see, I also jazzed mine up with some washi tape again. 

4. Bath Bombs


For my fourth DIY gift, I chose homemade bath bombs. I have included my favorite recipe below.


  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 3-4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. essential oil
  • Food coloring (Just a few drops. This is optional.)

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Warm the coconut oil in microwave and stir in the food coloring. Gradually add wet ingredients to the mixture of dry ingredients, mixing with hands as you combine them. (I suggest wearing gloves.)

After thoroughly mixed, firmly press the mixture into molds. Put the bath bombs, still in the molds, into the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from molds and place back into the freezer overnight.

You can package them the next morning. This recipe makes about two beautiful bath bombs.

5. Love Letter

Love letter

Throw it back and write your love a good, old-fashioned love letter! This one is pretty self explanatory. Just grab yourself a piece of paper (any type will work), click your pen and get writing. I have rolled mine and tied it with a piece of ribbon in lieu of an envelope.

Have an amazing time making these five DIY gifts for your valentine this year. Or just skip the whole Valentine’s Day thing and make the bath bombs for yourself! A Valentine’s Day/Date Night inspired lookbook will be coming later in the week, so keep an eye out!


A. Marie

Quotes To Live By

Words have the power to save us all. They give us hope, someone to relate to, and can be incredibly uplifting. I thought I would share some of my personal favorite quotes with you, so that you might be inspired.

For When You Need a Little Hope

“Maybe we’re getting it all wrong, and it’s the stars who are wishing on us.” -Erin Van Vuren

“Flowers grow back, even after they are stepped on. So will I.” -Anonymous

“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald


For When You’re In Love

“My nomad heart found home in you.” -s. r. w.

“Those eyes of yours could swallow stars, galaxies and universes. What hope did I ever have?” -Anonymous

“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s adore one another before there is no more left of you and me.” -Rumi

“The way to love someone is to lightly run your finger over that person’s soul until you find a crack, and then gently pour your love into that crack.” -Keith Miller


For When You Need to be Inspired

“Sunshine all the time makes a desert” -Arab Proverb

“Coffee in one hand. Confidence in the other.” -Anonymous

“Little by little.” -Anonymous


For the Music Lovers

“I will sing until the miracle comes.” -Anonymous

“Music is a safe kind of high.” -Jimi Hendrix

“Be groovy or leave, man.” -Bob Marley


For the Adventurers

“Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” -Emerson

“Moon dust in your lungs, stars in your eyes, you are a child of the cosmos, a ruler of the skies.” -Anonymous

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wilde


For Those to Whom Books are the Same as Breath

“A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” -David Mitchell

“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” -Anne Dillard

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” -C. S. Lewis


I hope these quotes will help you through the times in your life when you need them most. They have helped me through some pretty tough times, and through times when inspiration was lacking. Thank you so much for reading!


A. Marie