30 Things: Open my Roth IRA

30 things before 30
As you may know,
I’ve made a list of 30 things that I want to do before I’m 30. Some are silly, some are hard, some are super easy, but no matter, they make for great fodder for the blog and for life!

Number 8 on my list is to open my own Roth IRA or similar type of retirement fund.

With a husband who is a real estate agent you meet a lot of people in the client service businesses, including financial planners and advisors. One week The Guns told me he wanted us to meet with an advisor that he’d met who is part of Edward Jones Investment. Joel C. Morgan met with us and spent a lot of time talking about financial planning… for now, for emergency, and for the future. Most of it we were already pretty familiar with, but having never worked for a corporation (except as a contract employee) the big miss in our financial plan was my retirement fund.

Which of course is really fun to think about at 28, but whatever. Anyway, after 2 meetings and a lot of talk about my comfort level (which pretty much amounts to “I’d rather not think about it, use your expertise, please”) with investing, now I have a Roth IRA… and the plan is to not really think about it for about 35 years and then be super impressed with my 28 year old self.

And of course that’s another item off my 30 list! Which is really, incredibly satisfying.

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Wedding gifts we still use and like: brightly colored dinnerware

wedding gifts

Wedding season is coming to a close, but I bet you till have some weddings to attend. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the wedding gifts we still use and love, in case you need some inspiration for what to bring to those upcoming nuptials.

I tried to keep things pretty simple on our wedding gift registry. We picked the simple flatware, the white dishes set, and we added some purple dinner plates and cereal bowls because TCU. And normally I would tell you to just stick to their registry, but one of our wedding guests bought us a beautiful multi-colored striped pitcher and chip and dip serving set. It was the perfect punch of color to add to our dinnerware. I have it on display in my kitchen year-round and love using it for parties.

If you have no idea the taste of the bride and groom, then stick to the registry. But if you know them a bit, or if you can come up with an item in a complementary color or pattern that will go with the rest of their kitchen items on the registry, then I think that’s a great option!

For example:

A super awesome Rachael Ray serving bowl, but only if they like orange.

If they like abstract florals in warm colors, here are some awesome items to choose from in this inexpensive dinnerware set.

Some amazing patterns and colors in this set.

A kind of weird and artsy serving platter, but I love the colors.

On sale from Crate & Barrell, a set of lime mixing bowls.

And the most famous of all the colored dinnerware sets… FIESTAWARE!

Would you love this as a wedding gift?

Advice for Brides: no mind reading

advice for brides

With wedding season finishing up for this year, I thought I’d give some advice for brides and future wives periodically here on the blog.

Hey there, bride. Your groom is pretty great, isn’t he? He is going to be an amazing husband. He has crazy super powers like making you feel loved, finding ways to provide for you, finding ways to surprise you, and generally being an awesome human being that you actually want to hang out with for the next 50 years.

But there is one superhero trait that he does not have: mind-reading.

I don’t care how long you’ve been together, how long you’ve known each other, or how often you finish each other’s sentences. He can’t read your mind.

And yet, we all act like our husbands, boyfriends, and fiances can. We say things like “he should just know what I wanted for a birthday gift.” Or “I said that it was ok for him to stay out super late with his friends, but he should know that I’m not really ok with it.”

Nope, sorry. This is just a bad habit, and it’s really, at least in my experience, just an excuse to avoid a difficult conversation. Or it’s just an excuse to get mad about something silly. Of course you don’t want to actually tell him what you want as a gift, and of course you don’t want to be the big, bad, mean wife who doesn’t want her husband to have any fun… but being a little more open is a lot more productive than just hoping he’ll read your mind and then resenting him when he interprets your hints incorrectly.

Most of the time, if you’re just up front with how you feel, he may not agree, but he’ll respond well and be willing to talk about it.

But the perfect way to frustrate your husband and yourself is to say one thing, mean something else, and then get mad when there’s confusion.

Just go ahead and decide that neither one of you is going to be a mind-reader (not even Harry Potter was good at that, so why should we be?), and you’ll be about 5 years ahead of most newlyweds.

Agree or disagree?

Honest Greeting Cards

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For our 5 year anniversary I didn’t get The Guns anything because we agreed that we wouldn’t. Instead we bought a bedroom set (yay, we’re adults now) and went to San Antonio for the weekend. But I couldn’t resist the card above. I wasn’t even looking for it, I was just at Target buying thank you cards and Father’s Day cards when I came across this lovely hedgehog card, read it, and said “yep.” I mean, there is no other card for The Guns from me. All other greeting cards will be measured against this one.

Because, in case you haven’t noticed, It’s not easy to find a card that is cute, maybe a little honest or snarky, and perfectly encapsulates the message you’re trying to convey.

Unless you go on Etsy, and then it’s really easy. Just search for “honest cards,” “sassy cards,” or “snarky cards,” and some great options will pop up. In case you don’t have time to do that, though, here are some classic ones that I found.

Psst… no affiliate links here, just sharing and not getting paid for it. I should see about changing that…

An honest graduation card (no more drinking abnormally large mixed drinks)

An honest Mother’s Day card and apology

Compare someone special to an oddly shaped vegetable and get them to cry

Not exactly a greeting card, but honest place cards for your next dinner party (I would be the snoozer… I sometimes fall asleep at parties. Sorry)

Abraham Lincoln honesty cards for whatever you need to be honest about

Short and simple apologies

Calling out the vain people in your life

A very common sentiment in relationships

Here are some greeting cards I’d like to see show up on shelves…

“I’m sorry… I watched the next episode without you.”

“My biggest regret in life is not inviting you to my wedding. Why are we just now best friends?”

“I’m so proud of you, you are so great at life, and I want to be just like you.”

“I’m really sorry you didn’t get that thing, let’s go egg some houses”

“I wish I could pay you money for all the great things you’ve done for me, but if I did I’d be in extreme debt. So is this note enough?”

Any ideas for greeting cards you’d like to share?

Wedding Gifts we still use and like: a knife block

wedding gifts
During wedding season, I thought I’d share with you the wedding gifts we still use and love, in case you need some inspiration for what to bring to those upcoming nuptials.

A wedding gift we still use and like? Our knife block!

Let’s face it, unless the bride or groom is a chef, they probably just want a decent set of knives and something to store them in, but would really rather not buy it themselves. It’s one of those annoyingly pricey but super useful purchases. If it’s out of your price range, but you’d like to get it for them, consider going in on a purchase with someone else, purchasing just the knife set or just the block, or stalking the web for a great deal.

Just for fun, here are some knife blocks (and variations on the knife block) that caught my eye:

I love the classic dark wood of the Chicago Cutlery Belmont 16 piece knife set or you could go with the fancier and more modern steel set with more knives, an in-block sharpener (WHAT?!?!)  and a lighter wood. Both sets have kitchen shears, which are an essential item in my kitchen!

Not a knife set, but a cool block that holds 11 knives, a sharpener, a set of shears, and also swivels and has a ledge for your tablet or cookbook on the back side.

For the super, modern (and also super clean) couple a clear magnetic stand and knife set.

If you happen to know they plan to use bright colors in their kitchen, this Rachael Ray set with orange handles is pretty cute!

A classic (but lower-priced) 14-knife set option from Ginsu. Bonus, this one looks like it takes up a lot less space on the kitchen counter. Great for small space dwellers!

Advice for Brides: Simple, Classic, Elegant

advice for brides
With wedding season upon us I thought I’d give some advice for brides and future wives periodically here on the blog.

While you are wedding and marriage planning (yes, you should be planning for your marriage as well) there will be lots of decisions you have to make. And some, are less important, but you still have to make them.

What types of plates are you putting on your registry?

Which wedding dress will you buy?

What are your wedding colors?

What colors should your towels be?

How will you decorate for the ceremony or the reception.

The more important questions are things like where will you live? How much money are you going to spend on your wedding, your honeymoon? How and who will deal with your finances as a couple? How will you handle time with family and vacations? How much time do you expect to spend with your spouse on a daily basis?

But somehow, sometimes we seem to get caught up on those lesser questions and they end up eclipsing the more important issues.

So here’s my advice to you. When you have a question of style, instead of obsessing over all your options for registry items and wedding décor, decide that these three aspects will guide your choice: simple. classic. elegant.

You will make the simple choice. It will be classic. And go for elegance.

Sticking to simple, classic, elegant will keep you from hating your dinner plates in a year, avoiding looking at your dated wedding photos in 5 years, and also help you obsess less and spend more time on the things that really matter.

What parts of your wedding were simple, classic, and elegant. What parts were not so much? I’m so glad I went with plain and simple white dinner plates but I wish my parents and I had spent less time worrying about the guest list, which was truly complicated. It ended up being great, and no matter what it would have been fine!