20 Aug

Happy Friday everyone!  The summer weekends are dwindling down and I don’t even want to talk about that.  It just means winter is that much closer and I. can’t. stand. winter.

Moving on to happier topics!

New Website

The new Website is almost ready to go.  I’ve got to clean up some various pages and that’s about it.  Once that’s complete, I’m going to make the switch to redirect my wordpress blog to my new site!

The plan is to make the switch THIS WEEKEND.

So, come Monday morning (or even this weekend if you’re hanging around the blog) my current blog (Carrie…On The Cheap) should redirect to my NEW BLOG (

If you come over Monday morning and don’t get a redirect, it’s probably because of one of two things:

  1. Something didn’t go as planned and I didn’t get to it this weekend OR
  2. I made an epic error and there is a problem with the redirect

Let’s hope things go smoothly, though, and you’ll be welcomed with open arms to my new site on Monday!

Wedding Confessions

I’m so glad you guys liked the teaser for my new Wedding Confessions series that I put up this week!  This series will NOT be on my new site.  I’m partnering with a wedding Website for this series and I’ll be sure to post the link as soon as everything is ready to go.  I think you guys will really like the series!


I’ve had my netbook for a little over 2 weeks now and I’m absolutely loving it.  It is so convenient – even in it’s hot pink carrying case, it fits nicely into my purse. 


I’ve been bringing it with me to work and anywhere else I know I’ll have time to kill.  It has turned out to be very useful over lunch at work – I’ve been snagging open conference rooms during my lunch hour and getting lots of blog tasks and freelance writing done.  So far, the netbook is a win!

Keep On Keepin’ On

That’s about it for me!  I hope you guys have a great weekend and I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning with my new blog introduction post!

Schedule It Up

18 Aug

For years, I’ve used an untraditional calendar and to-do list format: my brain. 

I’ve never scheduled out my week in writing and it’s starting to catch up to me.  I’m lining up more and more freelance jobs and setting up a new self-hosted Website.  I’m also planning a wedding and I usually always have a pretty full fitness calendar.

Let me just preface by saying:  I LOVE doing all of those things.  I cannot believe people actually like my writing enough to hire me.  It’s super flattering and very exciting!  And, of course, I love workin’ on my fitness and am so stoked that I have more time to fit that into my schedule now that I’m not studying.   And, as confusing as it may be, I’m having so much fun setting up my new site (P.S. almost ready!).  Oh yeah…and planning my wedding isn’t so bad either. 😉

So, my life is going in so many new directions that I’ve got to get organized.

The End Of The Brain To-Do List

Starting yesterday, I’m going to start putting my weekly to-dos and schedule on paper so it’s not floating around in my head all day.  I have used my brain as a to-do list and a personal calendar for wayy too long.  It’s tough to get everything straight when it’s unorganized in my mind.  Here are some things I need to schedule:

  • Workouts
  • Friends/Family Events
  • Church Functions
  • Wedding Meetings/Planning
  • Freelance Writing
  • Blog Writing/Site Maintenance
  • Food Prep
  • Errands


The main task I want to start scheduling are my workouts.  Although I write down every workout on a calendar on my fridge, I always do that after the fact.  I always go to the gym with a plan, but I’d like to take my plans to the next level.  I’ve got some scheduled lifting and training plans that I want to try (more on that in a later post) and with that, I’ll need some sort of an organized schedule.

Type of Calendar

For work, I always use my Microsoft Outlook calendar.  That works for me because I have Outlook open every second of the day in the office, so all my work events are constantly popping up for me.

However, I don’t want to use Outlook for my personal calendar.  I also don’t want to use any online calendar.  I’m not always connected to the Internet so I don’t want to be dependant on it.  Some people probably love online calendars, but that’s just not how I roll.

I actually did have some success using calendars templates in Excel for my CPA studying.  So, I decided I’d try to do a weekly calendar in Excel. 

So far, I’m loving it!  Here’s a sneak peak of one I started for this week:

Weekly Planner

Cool, huh?  Like, I said, I’m already loving it.  Plus, now that I’m bringing my netbook with me to work, I can have access to my calendar all the time.


I read an awesome post the other day about prioritizing your life as a means to build your schedules.  Of course, there are only 168 hours in a week and 56 of those hours should be spent sleeping (or trying to) and another 40 should be spent at work (or trying to…he he).  You get to choose how to spend the other 72 hours (which actually doesn’t sound like much if you put it that way).  Obviously, most of us want to spend those hours on the things that matter most to us, but sometimes that list gets a little disorganized (or distracted…facebook, anyone?).  Here’s how my time priorities would go (not including work/sleep):

  • spending time with my husband-elect
  • working out
  • shopping for and preparing healthy meals
  • spending time with friends and family
  • church
  • maintaining a clean house/car/life
  • blogging/writing/reading
  • watching E!!!!! 🙂
  • relaxing
  • mind/body exercise/yoga stuff (wish I had more time for this)

Special Note: You’ll notice that facebook is nowhere to be found on that list.  Facebook is obsessed with me and is always trying to get me to log on.  Our relationship is complicated.

The post went on to say to look at where you’re really spending your time and see if it’s on the list.  If not, work to replace a list item with a non-list item.  Also, see which things in your list you want to spend more time on and less time on and make changes accordingly.

It’s interesting to put your priorities and schedule out on paper and see where your time is really going.  I don’t like to delve too deep into trying to make the most out of my 24 hours per day because you obviously can’t go, go, go every waking minute and everyone needs down time.  It’s all about balance.

Do you schedule and/or prioritize your life?  What tools do you use to schedule your days with?


16 Aug


Details to come…

Open Letter To Chipotle

10 Aug

Dear Chipotle:

Below are a few of my suggestions for your dining establishment.  Please take them into consideration because I think they could make the dining experience at your restaurant that much more enjoyable.

  1. Price By Weight: You see, I could care less how much worthless white rice you fill my bowl with.  On the other hand, I do care how much deliciously marinated chicken you decide to let me have.  Sometimes I get generous helpings, other times I get spoonfuls so measly I have to politely ask for more and usually always get a grumble or two from your hard-working bowl/burrito preparers.  It’s okay; I don’t take it personally.  But on to the point:  please consider pricing your meat by weight.  I am aware it is the most expensive ingredient in your masterpieces and you should be paid fairly for such savory protein.  For the other goodies, allow us addicts to add double beans, half rice, light on the lettuce, extra salsa, etcetera, etcetera as we like for a set fee – say two or three dollars?  This process change will allow us consumers to create an epic burrito/bowl concoction that we’ve only lusted for in our dreams.  Please help us make it a reality.
  2. First-Time Visitor Line: Do us all a favor and create a segregated line for first-time visitors.  Trust me, it’s for the best for all Chipotle customers.  Chipotle virgins always arrive nervous and flustered as it is.  Do I want a burrito or a bowl?  Or a soft taco?  (It’s disgraceful to order a soft taco at Chipotle.)  What’s barbacoa?  Black or pinto? (Go black, you’ll never go back.)  Do I ask for the rice?? I think I want chicken, but maybe I should try steak???  You get the idea.  They’re confused and who can blame them?  We were all uncertain first-timers at some point.  On the other hand, seasoned burrito lovers know exactly what they want and can rattle it off without a second thought and don’t you dare short me on my side of guacamole!  Seriously, consider the second line.  Don’t think of it as discrimination, think of it more as initiation.
  3. Self-Serve: As an addendum to item number 1, please consider letting us serve ourselves.  As mentioned in item number 2, we know we want exactly 21 nuggets of chicken – no more, no less.  Take the stress off your bowl assembly line and allow the real experts to create the works of art.  Then, train leftover assembly line workers as extra cooks.  You’ll need a much higher rate of chicken turnover now that your operations are going to be more efficient than ever.  It’ll work.  I’ve gotta feeling.

I hope that you’ll take my suggestions into consideration.  I have spent many hours deep in thought over my own bowls pondering the items above.  They come from heart because I only want what’s best for you and me.


Chicken Burrito Bowl With Extra Black Beans And Less White Rice Lover

My New Office

9 Aug

Lloyd and I had several shopping wins this weekend!  I got everything I was looking for:

  • netbook
  • desk
  • comfy desk chair

We spent all day traipsing around the city until we found the perfect office set-up.

Everything was pretty much full price except for the chair which we got a total score on!  They had one already put together that someone had returned because one of the screws didn’t flush with another piece correctly….or something like that.  The chair was still mechanically fine and came with a manufacturer’s warranty, so I figured I’d take it.  They offered it to me for $40 less than full price!  Me likey.

Here are some shots of my new “office”, complete with an inspiring beach scene wall-hanging that I brought out of retirement.  I love my new little space!

P8090562P8090564And of course, my new netbook nugget.  A shiny, white Samsung N210:


Netbooks, Underarm Hair, and Office Supplies

6 Aug

Recap of what’s been going down in my life since we last spoke:

  • Operation New Blog : Remember how I told you that I was planning on creating some new, grand Website to take over this little blog?  Well, good news folks – Operation New Blog is officially underway!  And hear this: website creating is no joke.  It’s confusing, it’s time-consuming, and it’s hella-addicting.  I’m pretty sure my brain has exploded 2-3 times over the past couple days.  There is good news though:  I love love LOVE the new bloggy and I am SO excited to share it with you!  Hopefully I can get this thing all wrapped up and ready to go in the next month or so.  Good things to come, peeps!
  • Post-Vacation Depression: Going on vacation is like getting a new family pet.  You’re so so SO excited when it first arrives that you can hardly contain yourself.  But when it’s gone … it’s extremely depressing.  Okay, so maybe not as depressing as losing your family pet (that’s way worse, I’ve been there), but it’s still really depressing.  That first day back at work is the worst.  Especially when you realize that at this exact time two days ago, you were splashing around in clear, blue, ocean waves and now you’ve got 500 stressful, over-dramatic work e-mails staring you in the face that you must reply to in a pleasant tone.  It was about that time that I started wondering whether I could make a living as one of those cute cocktail waitresses that peddled drinks at the resort we stayed at in Boca. 
  • Netbook + Me = It’s Happening: I will have a bit of freelance income this year.  Woot!  Now that I’m somewhat self-employed, I need to offset that income with some business expenses.  Since I’m not studying for the CPA over lunch at work anymore, it’s time to start writing.  Exciting life I lead, I know.  Anyways, that’s where the netbook comes in.  So I can write in all sorts of places.
  • Desk + Chair = Also Happening: The desk and chair set that I have at home is embarrassing to say the least.  My friends gave me the desk for free because I needed something to get me through the CPA exam.  It’s pretty clear why they wanted to unload it (read: it’s a piece of sh!t), but it served it’s purpose for the last year or so.  Oh, yeah, and my desk chair?  It’s forest green, rock hard plastic, and came from my parent’s groovy ’70s furniture collection.  Okay, after reading that description, I will admit, it sounds pretty awesome.  But, trust me, it’s definitely not.  In fact, it looks exactly the one below, only disgusting green.  Not exactly easy on the toosh after a couple of minutes, let alone a couple of hours.  Now I’m in the  market for a swiveling, squishy, sophisticated executive chair to go with my new, fancy desk.  Hey, I’m running a business here, okay?
  • Groupon and my underarms:  Do you guys get Groupon?  I totally get Groupon.  Not because I use it or anything, but because, with it, I know I’ll get at least one e-mail everyday.  Plus, it’s just fun reading about the daily deals.  Today is an epic day, because Groupon is offering up an epic deal.  For a mere $125, I can get my underarm hair lasered away in just 6 quick treatments!  YES, PLEASE!  I’ve always wanted to get my legs and underarms lasered.  I absolutely despise shaving (and don’t tell me to try Nair or waxing because I’ve taken detours into both methods and I’m not a fan of either).  So, I think I’m gonna go for it.  If any of you readers have any experience with laser hair removal, let me know!  I’d love to know if it really works before I pull the trigger and give in to Groupon.

That’s about all I have for today.  Have a great weekend!


Relaxed, Rejuvenated, Recharged

28 Jul

This post is being brought to you by the new and improved Calm Carrie just coming off of a ridiculously relaxing vacation.


Lloyd and I just spent a week in the infamous retirement town of Boca Raton, Florida.  We stayed at a recently renovated resort that was located right on the beach and was the perfect spot for our post-CPA/engagement celebration/summer vacation that I’ve been anticipating for a loooooooooong time.  (Side note: We did attempt to visit the Del Boca Vista Phase III, but, unfortunately, we were unable to locate it.)

In case you hadn’t noticed by my numerous complaints and rants on the blog, the CPA took a lot out of me.  More than I ever expected.  In college – to put it simply – I owned.  I plowed through 18 hours of Accounting, Business, and Spanish classes each semester with internships and a busy social scene on the side without so much as a second thought of it all.  School had always come very easy to me.

But, when I started studying for the CPA, something didn’t click.  I struggled from the beginning.  I lost sleep from the first night I cracked the books (Which, by the way, had never ever been a problem for me before.  Prior to the CPA, I could have come away from the Sleep Olympics with gold medals in endurance, strength, and skill if there was such a thing.).  I had trouble balancing the new 25 hours per week recommended study schedule and spent many nights lying awake in bed considering giving up the entire ordeal.

But I didn’t.  I pushed through despite all my struggles.  Physically and mentally, I haven’t felt completely relaxed since I started the process.  Even after I passed, I still felt rushed and stressed.  On top of that, I got engaged and started planning a wedding.

Anyway, I knew I needed to get away.  I knew I needed to turn off my phones, computer, e-mail, twitter, mailbox, and blog, and recharge myself to my pre-CPA capacity.

Low-key, slow-moving Boca Raton was the perfect answer.

We spent an entire week eating, snoozing, sunbathing, reading books for pleasure, and playing and frolicking in the waves of the Atlantic.  With each passing day, I felt more and more of the CPA anxiety that had engrained itself into me slowly seep out of my body.  By the end of the trip, I’d wrung my body almost completely dry of that stress.  The test finally started to seem like a distant memory. (Side note: The CPA Exam process was totally and completely worth it.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Yes, it was grueling; but, it has made me stronger and better.  Nothing wrong with that.)

It was, hands-down, the most relaxing week of my life.  Well, at least since I became an adult, because, let’s face it, age 6 is pretty relaxing when all you have to worry about are dollies and popsicles.

I’m back.  I’m relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged, and, most of all, happy.


Wedding Budget: The Dirty Details

13 Jul

Remember how I promised you that I would give you the details on my wedding budget 2 weeks ago?

Well, today I’m going to deliver.

If you forgot all about that post, go check it out over here really quick.

Budget… We’re on a tentative budget of about $15,000.  If we have to throw in a couple extra thousand dollars, that’s okay, but I refuse to pay more than $20,000 for one day.

Dress…  Someone said good luck finding a dress for $500.  I’d love to say I’m getting my dress for free from my good designer friend, but no such luck.  In fact, whoever left that comment was completely correct.  I went dress shopping on Friday and the cheapest dress I found was $1,100.  Epic fail.  I haven’t found a dress YET, but I now know that when I do, I’ll probably pay whatever because I’ll be madly in love with it.  Damn those crafty designers for making their dresses so dang beautiful.  I’m sure “the one” will have me wrapped around it’s little satin train no matter the price tag.  In case you didn’t see on twitter, below is the dress that I loved last week.  I loved it, but it’s not the one.  Close, but no cigar.

P7090251(sorry for the back shot, my photographer friend didn’t get a good front angle that I’m willing to share with you all.)

Save the Dates…  Yes, I’m getting them….found a great deal for business magnets on Vista Print (thanks for the tip, Victoria!).  I know they’re not necessary.  Worse things have happened.

Wedding Party Gifts… Let me emphasize that this is a Catholic wedding.  We give people titles for everything.  We aren’t comfortable leaving anyone out.  It’s just how we roll.  We’ll be getting gifts for 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 3 readers, 1 cantor, 1 priest, 1 flower girl, 2 ring bearers, 3-4 alter boys, among others.  I also would like to note that this doesn’t include the gifts we’ll be getting for our parents which we’re estimating to be about $750 in total.

Flowers…  I might have a good florist contact.  I think she can get me 6 bouquets and 6 boutonnieres at cost or close.  The only other flowers I’m doing are 2 pink Gerber Daisies in each center piece.  I’ve already priced the Gerbers at $90 total.  This is included in the decorating budget.  I refuse to spend a ton on flowers because they’re basically a waste of money in my humble opinion.  EXCEPT when Lloyd is giving them to me.  Then they are worth every penny. 😉

Reception Hall…  Booyah.  We finally tentatively booked one.  Our church is letting us use their hall or gym.  Our church is one year old so everything is super new and fancy and nice.  Score!   And it will be about $1,000 like I said.  (Double score for our church not forcing a caterer and drinks on us.  All the other reception sites I checked out charged ridiculous amounts per head for food and liquor.)

Ring Bearer/Flower Girl Outfits…  We’re doing this as a thank you since the parents are also in the wedding.  I feel bad making them spend so much on all their outfits.

Photographer…  Fail.  I can’t find one.  Wait, I actually found a PERFECT one that we met with last night.  She was sweet and excited about photography.  But…OH MY GOSH, girl talked our ear off for 90 straight minutes and completely overwhelmed us.  We left the meet-and-greet needing a beer and a cigarette and we don’t even smoke.  She was way too intense and if she stressed me out in 90 minutes, who knows how she’ll make me feel on my wedding day.  I am so disappointed because I really liked her other than that.  But, I can’t handle mega-talkers like that.  Especially ones that don’t let you get a word in edgewise.  Anyways, needless to say, I’m still looking for the perfect photog.  Frugal Dreamer, why can’t you live closer?!

Invitations… You guys are right.  I can’t get them for $200.  Probably gonna bump this to $500.  Which I am not so stoked about because I always immediately throw invites away, so they are a total waste of cash in my opinion.  Ah well, I’ll get over it.

Things To Add…  Stamp and alterations for my dress!  Thanks for those tips and GOOD CALL!

Excuse The Mess…

7 Jul

I’m doing some clean-up on the ‘ole blog here and somehow, someway, my very first blog post ever written in my entire life managed to find its way over to your feedreaders.  I’m going to go hide in a corner somewhere now.

Sorry for the confusion!!  And don’t judge the post.  I was young and dumb….oh wait, I wrote that like a year ago.

FYI: The Wedding Industry Is Out Of Control

28 Jun

This is what has accumulated on my nightstand over the past week:

P6280222One of my sweet, older co-workers has been fueling my new wedding hobby with magazines, books, and guides.  Bless her heart.

As I flip through the pages of Brides and Real Simple Weddings, I am thankful that I’m a bit more money-wise than most young brides (not to toot my own horn or anything…but it’s true.  Some girls I know would drop hundreds of bones on toilet paper embossed with their future last name if given the chance.). 

It’s pretty obvious that the wedding industry has turned into this untamed beast that prays on weak brides who are just happy-go-lucky in love.  Sure, us brides want a perfect, special, memorable wedding day, but I think things have gotten a little out of hand.

In the magazines, there is page after page of advertisements for personalized guest books, engraved cake stands, invitations accented with shades of watermelon pink and seawater green (or any shade your heart could ever desire), silk ring bearer pillows, customized wedding garters, and adorable party favors.

I actually asked someone the other day if I could just avoid the ring bearer pillow all together and just have my ring bearer walk the aisle empty-handed.  They looked at me in complete shock and said “but where would the rings go?”  I mean…do ring bearers actually carry the rings?  I really had no idea.  I guess I just like watching the confused kids walk sheepishly down the aisle.  That’s where the real fun is, right?

Don’t forget about the suit and armor us brides have to purchase:

  • gown
  • white shoes
  • garter
  • fancy under armor
  • tiara and/or other hair decor
  • veil
  • jewelry
  • something blue
  • make-up/hair

Yes, okay —  I want to be a bride for a day and wear the fabulous costume.  But after really listing out all the things I need to buy to pull off the part, it’s pretty overwhelming.

When did the wedding industry get so out of control?

The industry has become quite good at sucking you in and sweet-talking you into that $250 white gold cake cutter engraved with the date of your wedding day.

I think I’ll just use the cake cutter out of my mom’s kitchen drawer that we used for our birthday cakes as kids, thankyouverymuch. Looking at a cake cutter 20 years from now will not make me appreciate my wedding.  It will most likely just piss me off that I wasted that $250 because we’ll probably be trying to pay for little Lloyd’s college at that point.

In my parents’ wedding photos, things are completely different.  My mom wore a baby blue dress that looks nothing like a bridal gown for her wedding.  And she seems SO happy in the pictures.  I’m guessing she was probably so happy because she was marrying an awesome dude like my dad,  not because she was about to eat a heaping slice of sugar out of her $750 cake.

I’ve had to remind myself almost daily that all this wedding nonsense is just a bunch of BS.  I’m super excited for the big day, but I don’t want to forget the reason I’m here in the first place.  It’s so easy to forget that you’re vowing to love one person wholly and completely for the rest of your life instead of just planning some ridiculously expensive party.

I’m just trying to keep a healthy balance in the midst of this wedding madness.  I know I’ll be much happier in the end if I take a step back from all the tempting extras and just focus on marrying that super hot stud that proposed to me just over 4 weeks ago.