I love pretty homes. Living somewhere neat, clean and traditional/modern in style feels so refreshing — and like it would be easier to get ready for work in the mornings!

Unfortunately, this is not the case at my parents’ house, where I’m staying near my internship this summer. While some rooms — like the family room — are timeless, all of the washrooms reallly need to be updated, especially since my parents are thinking about selling/renting their current house. I’m all about maximizing value, and last time I checked builder-quality laminate furnishes from the 1980s I think that a new vanity would be the perfect addition, and  there are so many pretty ones to choose from!

My favorites (photos from www.JustVanities.com):

The bottom drawer is my favorite on this one — what a perfect place to stash a blow-dryer and a curling iron!

And while not my parents’ (or their home’s!) style, the second one is my personal favorite–

Wouldn’t that be pretty against some light, french blue walls? I can picture it in my dream post-war townhouse, or a palatial cottage-styled mansion… but until then, here’s to renovating my parents’ house!

And on that note, I’m happy to announce that I’m lucky enough to get to review an item from CSN Stores. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to purchase yet  (something for my folks? or something for my apartment?)  but I have my eye on quite a few items and will be sure to share soon :)



It was May, now suddenly it is July. Hello again!

I have many fun exploits to share, from selling a boatload of  items on Half.com and signing up on Etsy to  hitting the $1000 mark in rebates from the past year. Tales too, from working in the financial industry for the past couple o’ months of summer.

But in the meantime, if you’re tweeting, may I highly recommend that you follow @Coinstar? I’ve been so lucky as to win two $10 giftcards (iTunes and Amazon, respectively) in their their #TrivTues coin trivia contest, as well as a $25 prize (Starbucks) in a Fourth of July photo contest, although a lot of credit for the last one goes to my Yorkshire Terrier for being so photogenic.

And while we’re adding people, give me a tweet (@pennycouture) and I’ll add you :)!

millionaire mind

I thought this article about the real lives of millionaires was interesting.

Articles like this inspire me to take action (ANY action!) to start accumulating wealth passively. I mailed a set of unused  MCAT books I sold on half.com today, but that $90  is 1. not going to earn me extra income 2. was a loss of about $20 from what I paid for the books, ugh.

Makes me extra proud of couponing ($10 gift card with a prescription, free 12 pk of diet coke and 2 free 64 oz apple juices at target today, paid for with a rebate rewards card)

summer startup

As my summer plans include being a wannabe designer, wannabe photographer, wannabe entrepreneur, I’m also planning on being an actual tutor to keep some income rolling in before school resumes.

AT and I were celebrating our second anniversary Wednesday night, when I checked my email. One of my clients wants to hire me again for the summer! Our base schedule is going to be a couple of hours, two days a week. It’s great because they were prompt, efficient and dependably-paying people last year. It’s also great, because it involved no advertising and will probably be at least $400 in income.

Entrepreneur had an interesting article about dropping problem clients. There was one family that I did stop working for — they were always late, sometimes canceled 15 minutes before an appointment, and rarely paid on time.  It’s tough to turn down revenue, but saving time and aggravation  is worth a lot… right?

germaphobe much?

I move out in t-15 hours. Accordingly, I’ve generated a fair amount of trash by drinking all of the milk in the fridge,  tossing goofy promotional items, and getting rid of this semester’s paper-age. I’m trying to fit everything in one car load, since making multiple trips (150 miles each way) or renting a U-Haul would be decidedly un-frugal.

There’s a big bin of usable stuff people don’t want. I just walked by, and saw a variety of stuff. While used stuffed animals hold no appeal, there were a lot of household items. Such as a mini ironing board, and a laptop cooling stand, both of which I kind of need think about buying…

I’m torn between being thrifty, swooping in and enjoying my new finds. I’d definitely rather get something brand spanking new from Target for such generic items, but is the price (free) worth the hassle of bringing it home, and worrying about whether it’s clean? [For the record, a couple of health issues could make this end badly if it wasn’t…]

What do you think? Cost versus convenience?

I am certainly planning to rescue any sell-able items like text books. I even have a few friends giving me theirs to sell! (For a cut of the profits, of course :))

pennies and packing

I’m packing up to move out on Friday, about an hour after my last exam (yikes!)

To report back with my change savings….

I have $6.89 in cold, hard coins in an empty drink mix container. Woo-hoo!

As you can imagine, $6.89 in a mixture of pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters weights quite a bit, and I was worried that the bottom would *pop* off my piggy bank while packing up. (Also a handy excuse to spend time counting money instead of studying for exams :) )

I didn’t find all of it. Some of the money came from my purse left over from the rare occasions that I pay cash  (hate carrying pennies) and there might have been a few coins in the bank at the beginning of the year. Likewise, I’m sure that a few of the quarters and dimes I found were used to feed a meter or pay tax on register rewards purchases at Walgreen’ or something.

But I must say, I feel mighty accomplished after finding so much change!

frozen fruit cpr

What do you do when you have a freezer full of freezer-burned frozen fruit? (say that five times fast…)

Make jello!

There were some blueberries and strawberries chillin’ (har har) in the freezer.  There was nothing wrong with them besides freezer burned quality — the blueberries were especially pucker-inducing, as I found when I mixed half a bag into a quart of yogurt.

Frozen fruit is ridiculously expensive (although cheaper than the real during the off-season). I’ve been desperately trying to eat all of the food in the freezer and fridge, and making Jello made everything so much more palatable. This is good — it’s been almost a week since I’ve had cereal, since having freshly cooked chicken calls for healthful side dishes of pasta or bread.

It is also bad since eating more feels like I’m saving money by not wasting food, but I’ll worry about the repercussions after my exams are over :) Some things just won’t be used up though — it’s too hard to speed-eat through a jar of pickles!